Although being a low-middle income country, Vietnam has been experiencing an epidemiologic transition to that of a developing country with an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The key risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are either on the rise or at alarming levels in Vietnam, particularly hypertension (HTN). Inasmuch, the burden of CVD will continue to increase in Vietnamese men and women unless effective prevention and control measures are put in place. The objectives of the proposed project are to develop a multi-faceted community-based intervention, based on a Storytelling method which has been shown to be effective in other minority populations, for the control of elevated blood pressure (BP) in adults in Vietnam. We are proposing a pilot cluster-randomized trial to test the feasibility of a large scale effectiveness trial. Four communities (wih a total of 100 hypertensive patients) will be randomized into either an intervention (n=2) or comparison group (n=2) (matching on population size);persons with HTN will be randomly assigned to intervention or control status based on their community of residence. Eligible and consenting participants in the intervention group will receive culturally and literacy appropriate HTN related educational materials and in-person sessions through viewing DVDs of stories from patients with HTN (Storytelling) given by trained health workers. The DVDs will include stories about the health consequences of uncontrolled HTN, overcoming barriers to HTN control, and adherence to prescribed medication and lifestyle changes. Primary health care providers in the intervention communities will also be empowered through intensive training and education on HTN control. In communities assigned to usual care, persons will view comparison DVDs, which only contain guidelines on HTN, and will be in a non-interactive format without storytelling or supplementary materials, and receive HTN related education as currently provided at local community health centers. This project addresses a serious clinical and public health problem in Vietnam by implementing the first community-based study using a culturally-literacy appropriate HTN intervention for this population.
The proposed community-based research project will develop a novel educational intervention for the control of hypertension in Vietnam. A feasibility trial wil be conducted. This is a major clinical and public health problem in this developing country.