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Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

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Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Epidemiology | Health Services Administration | Public Health Education and Promotion


INTRODUCTION: Vietnam is experiencing an epidemiologic transition with an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The country needs novel, large-scale, and sustainable interventions to improve hypertension control. We report the 12 month follow-up results of a cluster randomized feasibility trial in Hung Yen province, Vietnam, which evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of two community-based interventions to improve hypertension control: a "storytelling" and a didactic intervention.

METHODS: The storytelling intervention included stories in the patients' own words about coping with hypertension and didactic content about the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors in controlling elevated blood pressure levels. The didactic intervention included only didactic content, which were general recommendations for managing several important risk factors for hypertension and other non-communicable diseases. The storytelling intervention was delivered by two DVDs three months apart; the didactic intervention included only one DVD. The trial was conducted in patients with poorly controlled hypertension from 4 communes (communities), which were equally randomized to the two interventions.

RESULTS: The mean age of the 160 patients was 66 years and 54% were men. Between baseline enrollment and the 12 month follow-up, mean systolic blood pressure declined by 10.8 mmHg (95% CI: 6.5-14.9) in the storytelling group and by 5.8 mmHg (95% CI: 1.6-10.0) in the didactic content group. The storytelling group also experienced more improvement in several health behaviors, including increased levels of physical activity and reduced consumption of salt and alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed considerable long-term beneficial effects of both interventions, especially of our storytelling intervention, among patients with inadequately controlled hypertension. A large scale randomized trial should more systematically compare the short and long-term effectiveness of the two interventions in controlling hypertension.



Blood pressure, Hypertension, Vietnam, Medical risk factors, Cardiovascular diseases, Alcohol consumption, Physical activity, Behavioral and social aspects of health

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Copyright: © 2018 Nguyen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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PLoS One. 2018 Dec 31;13(12):e0209912. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209912. eCollection 2018. Link to article on publisher's site

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PloS one

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.