A randomized controlled trial of positive-affect intervention and medication adherence in hypertensive African Americans

Gbenga O. Ogedegbe, Carla Boutin-Foster, Martin T. Wells, John P. Allegrante, Alice M. Isen, Jared B. Jobe, Mary E. Charlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Poor adherence explains poor blood pressure (BP) control; however African Americans suffer worse hypertension-related outcomes. Methods: This randomized controlled trial evaluated whether a patient education intervention enhanced with positive-affect induction and self-affirmation (PA) was more effective than patient education (PE) alone in improving medication adherence and BP reduction among 256 hypertensive African Americans followed up in 2 primary care practices. Patients in both groups received a culturally tailored hypertension self-management workbook, a behavioral contract, and bimonthly telephone calls designed to help them overcome barriers to medication adherence. Also, patients in the PA group received small gifts and bi-monthly telephone calls to help them incorporate positive thoughts into their daily routine and foster self-affirmation. The main outcome measures were medication adherence (assessed with electronic pill monitors) and within-patient change in BP from baseline to 12 months. Results: The baseline characteristics were similar in both groups: the mean BP was 137/82 mm Hg; 36% of the patients had diabetes; 11% had stroke; and 3% had chronic kidney disease. Based on the intention-to-treat principle, medication adherence at 12 months was higher in the PA group than in the PE group (42% vs 36%, respectively; P =.049). The within-group reduction in systolic BP (2.14 mm Hg vs 2.18 mm Hg; P =.98) and diastolic BP (-1.59 mm Hg vs -0.78 mm Hg; P=.45) for the PA group and PE group, respectively, was not significant. Conclusions: A PE intervention enhanced with PA led to significantly higher medication adherence compared with PE alone in hypertensive African Americans. Future studies should assess the cost-effectiveness of integrating such interventions into primary care. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00227175

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 27 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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