Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Can stories influence African-American patients' intentions to change hypertension management behaviors? A randomized control trial.

Bokhour BG, Fix GM, Gordon HS, Long JA, DeLaughter K, Orner MB, Pope C, Houston TK. Can stories influence African-American patients' intentions to change hypertension management behaviors? A randomized control trial. Patient education and counseling. 2016 Sep 1; 99(9):1482-8.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: Information-only interventions for hypertension management have limited effectiveness, particularly among disadvantaged populations. We assessed the impact of viewing African-American patients' stories of successfully controlling hypertension on intention to change hypertension management behaviors and engagement with educational materials. METHODS: In a three-site randomized trial, 618 African-American Veterans with uncontrolled hypertension viewed an information-only DVD about hypertension (control) or a DVD adding videos of African-American Veterans telling stories about successful hypertension management (intervention). After viewing, patients were asked about their engagement with the DVD, and their intentions to change behavior. Mean scores were compared with two-sided t-tests. RESULTS: Results favored the Stories intervention, with significantly higher emotional engagement versus control (4.3 vs. 2.2 p < 0.0001). Intervention patients reported significantly greater intentions to become more physically active (4.6 vs. 4.4, p = 0.018), use salt substitutes (3.9 vs. 3.4, p = 0.006), talk openly with their doctor about hypertension (4.6 vs. 4.5, p = 0.049), and remember to take hypertension medication (4.8 vs. 4.6, p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Patients were more emotionally engaged and reported intentions to change behavior when watching real patient hypertension management success stories. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Stories may be more influential than information alone, and represent a scalable approach to modifying behavioral intention.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.