Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jody Langdon


Hypertension is a global public health crisis. It is the largest risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death globally (CDC, 2021). While it can be managed, there are additional barriers that hypertensive impoverished populations face in regards to hypertension management. The purpose of this study was to explore knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of hypertension, and treatment adherence in impoverished hypertensive adults. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis, and were explained within the context of the health belief model. The results show that there was a lack of understanding of hypertension and its long term effects. Most participants were able to describe the physical manifestations of hypertension they experience in daily life. Several participants identified medication and dietary changes as a treatment prescribed by their physician; however, few participants made note of any other lifestyle modifications recommended. When asked to discuss barriers to treatment adherence, cost of medication, difficulty taking medication, difficulty forming habit of medication adherence, and cultural influences on diet were noted. There were mixed attitudes regarding their hypertension diagnosis, ranging from regret to confusion to confidence in ability to manage it. This study highlights the need for increased hypertension education in impoverished hypertensive adults