Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program

Clinical and Population Health Research


Quantitative Health Sciences

First Thesis Advisor

Jeroan J. Allison MD, MS


Medication Adherence, Hypertension, African Americans


The overarching goal of this dissertation was to elucidate the psychosocial and behavioral determinants of medication nonadherence among African Americans with hypertension. One in three Americans in the United States has hypertension, and the prevalence of hypertension among African Americans is among the highest in the world. In addition to healthy behaviors such as following a low-salt and low-fat diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress, patients with hypertension must also adhere to antihypertensive medications. Poor medication adherence may be driven by psychosocial and behavioral factors; however, the impact of these factors on medication adherence is unclear especially within the African American community. To date, a paucity of research has examined the relationship between psychosocial and behavioral factors such as reported racial discrimination, John Henryism (a measure of active coping and an unhealthy response to stress) and home remedies with medication nonadherence. However, each of these factors has individually been linked with poorer health outcomes among African Americans.

Using data from the TRUST study (2006-2008) the association between these constructs and medication adherence was assessed within our sample of 788 African Americans and a comparison group of 137 White participants with hypertension. Ordinal logistic regression was used to assess the association between racial discrimination, John Henryism, home remedies, and medication adherence.

The findings from this research indicated more reported racial discrimination, higher John Henryism scores, and greater use of home remedies were associated with lower medication adherence. These findings yield new knowledge about medication adherence and provide practical insights about the psychosocial and behavioral determinants of medication adherence.



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