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REFERENCE: Hovell, M. F., Geary, D. C., Black, D. R., Kamachi, K., Kirk, R., Elder, J. (1985). Experimental analysis of adherence counseling: Implications for hypertension management. Preventive Medicine, 14, 648-654.

A time series "reversal" design demonstrated that behavioral counseling increased medication adherence from about 60 to 100% for a black, hypertensive patient. However, inadequate pharmacological treatment yielded no clinically important blood pressure decrease. The combination of improved compliance and minimal blood pressure reduction led the patient's physician to explore higher doses and alternate medications to achieve blood pressure control. The physician's aggressive medical treatment was initiated only after the patient's compliance had been improved. Thus, this study suggests that paraprofessional counseling can increase compliance and illustrates the need for both behavioral and physiological data in clinical management to avoid blaming patients for poorly controlled blood pressure.

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