Quality of Life and Depression as Determinants of
Treatment Adherence in Hypertensive Patients
Almost one third of adults in the United States have hypertension. Being hypertensive increases the risk of developing heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. The chance of developing these diseases decreases significantly if hypertension is detected and treated.
Despite what is known about the benefits of antihypertensive drug therapy, such benefits are considerably reduced because almost half of all patients stop taking them within 12 months after they begin treatment. Little is known about what causes people to stop treatment.
The purpose of this research is to determine if symptoms of depression and low quality of life are related to antihypertensive treatment withdrawal. If a correlation is discovered, this information can be used to identify patients that are more likely to stop treatment and design interventions to prevent non-adherence. If healthcare professionals can improve treatment compliance, they will also be able to prevent a considerable fraction of heart attacks and strokes among people with hypertension.
This is a longitudinal cohort study among newly identified patients with essential hypertension who require drug therapy. Quality of life and depression symptoms severity will be evaluated at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the start of treatment. These data will be used to identify exposure status at each time point and to ascertain changes in exposure.
Treatment adherence, the outcome variable, will be assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of follow-up. Some of the components of quality of life that will be measured are the general sense of wellbeing, sleeping problems, sexual symptoms and the presence of physical symptoms like headache, cough, and dizziness.
Working with several clinical sites throughout Wisconsin, the study team will recruit a total of 220 hypertensive patients statwide who were just beginning drug treatment for hypertension. Eligible patients were identified in the clinic at the time of their diagnosis with hypertension or by database review shortly after.
Study recruitment concluded at the end of February 2010. Data collection will end June 30, 2010. Individual study participation lasts for 12 months or on June 30, 2010, whichever is sooner.
American Heart Association (AHA)
Supporting Network Information
The Wisconsin Research and Education Network (WREN) and the Wisconsin Network for Health Research (WiNHR) provide support for this research. These organizations are integral components of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
Aurora UW Medical Group
Dennis Baumgardner, MD
Aurora Sinai Family Care Center
Aurora UW Medical Group Family Practice Center located at St. Luke’s
Aurora Wiselives Center for Wellbeing
For more information, contact:
Milwaukee Area Study Coordinator
Or visit the WREN website at: