High blood pressure representations in hypertensive adolescents: Structure and relations with personality and adherence  [presentation, ppt, 180 kB]

Žugelj U., Zupančič M., Kenda R., Komidar L.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The aim of the study is to examine whether there are differences among hypertensive adolescents in the way they conceptualize their illness. Further we wish to explore how these conceptualizations relate to medical regimen adherence and personality. Hypertension is a chronic illness usually affecting adult and elderly population but can also affect adolescents. If not properly treated or controlled, it can result in severe health complications (i.e. heart disease, damage of organs). Another issue of importance is that hypertension is usually asymptomatic disease thus posing a great challenge to the patient adherence. The relation can be indirectly influenced by personality. The participants are 100 adolescents with diagnosed essential hypertension (age 14 - 24 years) and the study is currently under progress. The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Broadbent et al., 2006), modified MOS Adherence Questionnaire (Di Mateo, 1993) and The Inventory of Child Individual Differences (ICID, Halverson et al., 2003) are employed. A mediating role of illness representations in predicting adherence on the basis of personality traits was proposed. The fit of this model will be examined at the mid-level trait level and at the robust (the Big Five) level. Possible implications of our findings will be discussed.