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Editorials |

Storytelling: A Novel Intervention for Hypertension

Kimberly R. Myers, PhD, MA; and Michael J. Green, MD, MS
[+] Article and Author Information

From Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033.


Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M10-2579.

Requests for Single Reprints: Michael J. Green, MD, MS, Department of Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine, C1743, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033; e-mail, mjg15@psu.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Myers and Green: Department of Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine, C1743, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033.


Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(2):129-130. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-154-2-201101180-00013
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In this issue, Houston and colleagues report that listening to stories of other patients with hypertension reduced blood pressure among African Americans with poorly controlled hypertension. The editorialists discuss the findings and explore whether clinicians might use patients' stories in other settings and with other populations as a routine part of treatment.

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hypertension

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Story telling for patients' education--May it backfire??
Posted on January 29, 2011
Tanu Pramanik BSc.MA (Sociology) PG Diploma (Clinical Ethics)
Allianze College of Medical Sciences, Waziria Medical Square,Palau Penang-13200,Malaysia. www.acms.e
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

We applauded the editorial commentary of Kimberly RM and his colleague (1) who sincerely appreciated the extensive study report of Houston TK et al,(2).However, in recent years, many patients and their relatives often go for an internet search to find necessary details about their diseases and potential complications. There is a sizable list of websites flooded with ample information about different disease conditions (i.e Kids health-for Kids, Parents and Teens: http://kidshealth.org/kid).Green RC et al, in their study, revealed that the disclosure of APOE genotyping results to adult children of patients with Alzheimer's disease, did not result in significant psychological changes (3).In another situation, we reported from China mainland in 2003, (when there was uncontrolled spread of SARS )that people who have actually contracted SARS and then recovered appear to be a high risk group and vulnerable to serious psychological backlashes. After release from hospitals on recovery, further social barriers and stigma built up due to rampant media coverage, might be the additional reasons for them to succumb to aberrant behavioural disorders i.e post SARS psychosocial syndrome. In Hong Kong, the director of health requested the public to be more compassionate and responsible. She warned in a televised news conference that if SARS victims were discriminated in their society, future SARS sufferers might get discouraged to seek proper medical attention in time and total scenario might backfire (4). However, we concluded that despite existing challenges and limitations, health care providers may hopefully choose to educate their patients and their relatives with "culturally appropriate stories" in good faith to improve their health conditions.

References:

1. Kimberly RM, Green MJ : Storytelling: A Novel Intervention for Hypertension: Annals of Internal Medicine (Jan 18, 2011) Ann Intern Med:Vol.154,No.2,129-130.

2. Houston TK et al, : Culturally Appropriate Storytelling to Improve Blood Pressure: A Randomized Trial :Ann Intern Med : Vol.154, No 2.:77-84.

3. Pramanik J, Comment on-Disclosure of genetic risk for Alzheimer disease did not increase anxiety or depression in asymptomatic adults (N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 16;361(3):245-54) : ACP Journal club: Ann Intern Med. 2009 Nov 17;151(10):JC5-9.

4. Pramanik J, Pramanik Tanu: ( June 7th 2003 ):Post SARS social syndrome? British Medical Journal: http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7401/1232.1.extract/reply#bmj_el_33071.

Conflict of Interest:

The first author worked as Assist Dean & Lecturer of Pre-Medical Science,American Global University ,Curacao,Netherlands Antilles. The Second author is an Editorial board member of the following International peer reviewed journals: Lab-Medicine (ASCP)Chicago,USA; Hektoen International Journal and Social Science & Medicine,UK.

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