Hypertension control and related variables among urban and rural adults in Taiwan

Luna Chang, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Literature on hypertension treatment has demonstrated that a healthy life style is one of the best strategies for hypertension control. In exploring the mechanisms of behavioral change for hypertension control, a comprehensive study based on the Transtheoretical Model was carried out in Taiwan during the summer of 2000 with a sample of 350 hypertensive adults living in Taipei urban and rural areas. The relationships among stages of change, processes of change and demographic factors were analyzed for six health behaviors—low fat food consumption, alcohol use, smoking, physical activity, weight control, and routine blood pressure checkups. In addition, differences were assessed between urban and rural populations in changing their behavior for hypertension control. The results showed that rural populations had more difficulties than urban populations in avoiding smoking and engaging in physical activity, and the processes of change being used by urban populations were significantly greater than rural populations. The study findings support a strong association between processes and stages of change. Individuals who use more processes of change will be more inclined to move from precontemplation stage to maintenance stage. Counterconditioning, which is the substitution of alternatives for the problem behaviors, in this study, significantly helped people to change diet, engage in physical activity, and check blood pressure regularly. For example, counterconditioning is eating more vegetables instead of meat, or engaging in physical activity as a time to relax rather than another task to accomplish. In addition, self-reevaluation was the most important process for helping people to engage in physical activity; and social liberation was the most important process for changing diet behavior. The findings in this study may be applied to improve health behaviors among rural populations with low income and low education; however, at the same time, the obesity problems among urban populations should be prevented to control hypertension in Taiwan.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Chang, Luna, "Hypertension control and related variables among urban and rural adults in Taiwan" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3027643.