Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Dawood H. Sultan


compliance with lifestyle recommendations, knowledge of lifestyle recommendations, qualitative study, sodium intake barriers, sodium intake knowledge


The purpose of this study was to explore patients' perception and knowledge regarding hypertension and hypertensive guidelines on sodium intake and lifestyle modifications in a work environment in the Republic of Panama. Hypertension is important not only because of its high prevalence but also because it is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. In Panama the prevalence of hypertension is about 38.7% and uncontrolled hypertension is almost 50%.This number may translate into complications for the general population. For instance 52.8% of the population has had an ischemic disease and death by ischemic disease climbed from third place to second place from 2009 to 2010. This qualitative study used an exploratory approach and semi-structured in-depth interviews to answer the research questions. A purposive sample included woman with a hypertension diagnosis, between 30 to 59 years of age, and working in a single organization. A constant comparative analysis was used to search for themes grounded in the data. Emerging themes illustrated that participants perspectives of hypertension had become their drives towards the management of their disease and throughout their daily lives constant different factors played the role of motivating or discouraging their non-pharmacological treatment. Participants had also provided a list of barriers and coping strategies which were redundant on the need of practical knowledge, obtainable goals and policy changes of their environment in order for them to keep their disease management. Further research at a population level may aid to generalize this finding and to provide a better understanding of patients' compliance to non-pharmacological treatment.

Included in

Public Health Commons