Psychological characterization of hypertensive patients: associations with adherence to pharmacological treatment and self-management

Lucente, Marcella (2022) Psychological characterization of hypertensive patients: associations with adherence to pharmacological treatment and self-management, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Psicologia, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10213.
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Introduction: The role of psychosocial factors in the onset and progression of essential hypertension has been object of a large body of literature, yet findings appear to be controversial. Aims: We assessed the predictive role of psychosomatic syndromes, affective symptomatology, psychological reactance, psychological distress, well-being and quality of life on adherence to antihypertensive medications, lifestyle behaviors, hypertension severity and absolute cardiovascular risk grading, as well as their temporal stability at 1-year follow-up, in a sample of hypertensive patients. In addition, we aimed to validate the Italian version of the Hong Psychological Reactance Scale (HPRS). Methods: Eighty consecutive hypertensive outpatients treated with antihypertensive medications were compared to 80 controls. Psychosocial variables were assessed using clinical interviews and self-rating questionnaires at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. Cardiac parameters were also collected. One-hundred and fifty individuals from general population provided data for the HPRS validation. Results: Hypertensive patients reported significantly higher levels of psychological distress and lower levels of psychological well-being at baseline compared to controls. Among hypertensive patients, allostatic overload (AO) was the most frequently reported psychosomatic syndrome at baseline. Patients with AO displayed significantly greater levels of psychological distress and lower levels of well-being and quality of life than those without. Further, patients with illness denial were significantly more likely to report poor adherence to pharmacological treatment and, as well as those with higher levels of affective symptomatology, were less likely to follow a balanced diet. At follow-up, patients displayed significantly higher levels of well-being and lower levels of stress, mental pain and quality of life. Conclusions: Findings suggest the clinical relevance of psychosocial factors and psychosomatic syndromes in the progression of hypertension, with important implications for its management. As to the Italian validation of the HPRS, results support previous findings, even though a confirmatory factor analysis should be carried out.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lucente, Marcella
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Hypertension; Treatment Adherence; Clinimetrics; Psychosomatics; Lifestyle
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2022

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