Original Research

The effect of a reminder diary on risk factors in patients with chronic hypertension attending a clinic at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa

Janine Webber, Aimee Stewart, Piet Becker
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 5, No 1 | a493 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v5i1.493 | © 2013 Janine Webber, Aimee Stewart, Piet Becker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2012 | Published: 30 July 2013

About the author(s)

Janine Webber, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Aimee Stewart, Department of Physiotherapy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Piet Becker, Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Poor adherence to lifestyle interventions and medication-taking is problematic, and there is some evidence that a diary may be useful in facilitating patients’ adherence to lifestyle modification in chronic disease.

Objectives: To compare changes in blood pressure, waist–hip ratio, body mass index, blood levels and exercise capacity between two experimental groups and one control group (CG) after a six month intervention, and at a further three month follow up.

Method: This was a longitudinal randomised control trial. All three groups under went usual treatment. In addition, Experimental group one (EG1) received the diary as well as a once-a-month telephone call and Experimental group two (EG2) received only a once-a-month telephone call. Changes in measurements were established using an ANCOVA. The significance of the study was set at p = 0.05.

Results: The added intervention of the diary had no direct effect on blood pressure change greater than that achieved by the appropriate medication. All three groups showed a clinically significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to accepted norms. There were marginal differences in EG1 for waist–hip ratios (p = 0.06) at six months. There were significant low density lipoprotein (LDL) reductions in both EG1 and EG2 at nine months compared with the CG (p = 0.02) Walking distances improved minimally in both EG1 and EG2.

Conclusion: The diary and telephone interventions showed some positive trends toward improvements in risk factors of patients with chronic hypertension.


hypertension,adherence, diary


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