Population groups have various differences that are determined by culture, religion and ethnicity and they also have unique views on illness behavior and beliefs. African Americans are a patient population group that is at risk for several illnesses due to their race. Due to their race they have increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma, obesity, chronic kidney disease, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (Saab et al., 2015). Research has found that there is underlying genetic mechanisms that may be responsible for the increased risk of these conditions, especially hypertension and kidney disease (Saab et al., 2015). Another risk factor is that African Americans follow the Western diet which consists of a high intake of fructose-containing sugars and sweetened beverages which has impacted their risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Other risk factors include lower education levels, high rates of poverty, less access to healthcare and higher uninsured rates. Clinical based-research have found that nutritional and lifestyle education and intervention are extremely important to start during adolescence for this population (Correa-de-Araujo, 2016). â€œInterventions with a clear goal setting, self-monitoring, health coaching, social networking, and lessons about nutrition, metabolism, portion control, and physical activity components have improved health outcomesâ€ (Correa-de-Araujo, 2016, p.9). This is important to start before this group has obesity-related debilitation, illnesses and other possible health complications.
The Joint National Committee conducts and analyzes evidence-based studies and formulates recommendations based on those findings. They have focused on improving patient outcomes and decreasing the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension in African Americans. They recommend that the first-line drug choice as monotherapy in treating hypertension by either a thiazide diuretic or a calcium-channel blocker (Sessoms, Reid, Williams & Hinton, 2015). This is the recommendation because research has found that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers are less effective in the African American population (Sessoms et al., 2015). Guidelines also include educating this population on lifestyle modifications such as increased physical activity, weight loss and sodium restriction. Since African Americans are at risk for so many health conditions and complications it is essential to use evidence-based practice guidelines in managing these illnesses across the age continuum. Other evidence-based practice guidelines that can be used throughout their lifespan is proper screening, being aware of how this population copes, being aware of the role of extended family in caring for other family members and this impact on their health (Bailey, 2019). It is also important to integrate the culture, context, persona, and family history into your conceptualization in treating African Americans and to avoid misdiagnosis by following these guidelines because misdiagnosis is a chronic issue with this population (Bailey, 2019).
Bailey, R. (2019). Working with African American/Black patients. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-…
Correa-de-Araujo, R. (2016). Evidence-based practice in the United States: Challenges, progress, and future directions. Health Care Women International, 37(1), 1-22.
Saab, K. R., Kendrick, J., Yracheta, J. M., Lanaspa, M. A., Pollard, M., & Johnson, R. J. (2015). New insights on the risk for cardiovascular disease in African Americans: The role of added sugars. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 26(2), 247-257.
Sessoms, J., Reid, K., Williams, I., & Hinton, I. (2015). Provider adherence to national guidelines for managing hypertension in African Americans. International Journal of Hypertension, 2015(1), 1-7.