Measuring Blood Pressure Knowledge and Self-Care Behaviors of African Americans

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The purpose of this study was to develop and conduct preliminary psychometric assessment of instruments measuring knowledge and self-care practices regarding behaviors needed for blood pressure (BP) control among African Americans. Items were empirically derived and scored on a 7-point, bipolar scale. The instruments were evaluated in a sample of 306 communitydwelling African Americans. Results revealed acceptable reliability and validity of the BP Knowledge Scale. Results for the BP Self-Care Scale were mixed. A structural equation model of these scales, recorded BP, and covariates fit well. There was an unexpected positive correlation between self-care and BP suggesting a potential bi-directional relationship. The scales demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties and, with minor revisions, may have clinical utility as measures of BP knowledge and self-care.

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