Hypertension is the major health problem of adult African Americans. The purpose of this research was to describe the meaning of antihypertensive medication use to African Americans in rural Mississippi. Leininger's Cultural Care Theory was the theoretical framework guiding this study. This qualitative study sought an answer to the question, what is the meaning of hypertensive medication use to African Americans in rural Mississippi? A convenience sample of 3 male and 3 female African Americans who were age 40 years or older, had been diagnosed with hypertension for 5 years or longer, were cognitively intact, and sought health care at clinics in rural Mississippi was obtained. After written consent was obtained, arrangements were made for a taped interview up to one hour in length. The subjects were interviewed in the individual's home or in the rural health clinic according to the preference of the subject. The interview was conducted using broad, open-ended questions or statements, such as "Tell me how taking medicine for your blood pressure has affected your life." Data were analyzed for themes and patterns using the Husserlian method of hermeneutic analysis and research group verification. iii Identified themes were labeled "Compliance," "Feeling Better," and "More Tolerant/Less Nervous." The essence of the experience was labeled "Thankfulness." Further research is recommended to determine if themes can be validated and other themes discovered in a replication study. A larger sample is recommended in order to increase the validity of the findings of a replication study.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Sarah M. Howell

Second Advisor

Melinda E. Rush

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons