High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension is currently the most prevalent chronic disease in the world affecting approximately 970 million individuals. However, that estimate only accounts for those that have been properly diagnosed. In Thailand, an estimated 65% percent of individuals living with hypertension have been diagnosed which means one third of the affected population remains untreated and at risk of severe health consequences (Howteerakul et al., 2006). The major co-factors influencing screenings and diagnosis are still currently unknown due to the narrow interest in only post-diagnosis research. This study looked at the complex relationship between psychosocial stressors, psychological distress and preventative hypertension screenings in Northern Thailand. Through interviews, observational studies and relevant literature it was found that there was indeed a proposed relationship between stressors, distress and screenings. Local health workers identified the need to address certain social factors such as income and occupation as they were stated to be responsible for some of the distress in the local community. Large stakeholders such as the WHO, MoPH and CDC were found to have minimal investment in the topic of the study. Although the local community healthcare workers proved to be very effective when addressing this complex relationship. Future studies would be necessary to measure the extent and significance of this proposed relationship as this study did not provide quantitative support.
Research done at San Kamphaeng Sub-District Hospital and Minnesota Studies for International Development. Faculty Advisor: Kanokporn Deburee, Chiang Mai University
This research was supported by the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Analysis of Psychosocial Stressors and Chronic Psychological Distress on Preventative Hypertension Screenings in Northern Thailand.
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