Date of Conferral





Public Health


John Oswald


Health care provider perceptions of typical practices play a significant role in evaluating the efficacy of screening and diagnosis of teen high blood pressure in African Americans. African American adults are more likely to develop high blood pressure than are any other ethnic group; however, there is a gap in the literature concerning high blood pressure in teens. Approximately 1 to 5 of every 100 children has high blood pressure. This purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the perspectives of health care providers on high blood pressure screening and diagnosis of African American asymptomatic teens. The health belief model (HBM) was the conceptual framework used to describe how beliefs and attitudes influence provider high blood pressure screening. Purposive sampling resulted in 9 health care providers (8 pediatricians and 1family medicine physician), who completed a hypertension survey and individual interview. Data were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. Atlas.ti was used for data management. Theoretical saturation was reached after 9 interviews. Emergent themes included observations from the participants that the absence of initial standardized high blood pressure screening for teens is a significant problem and that age-appropriate high blood pressure resources are not used consistently. Study results contribute to social change by providing an opportunity for heightened awareness and education among health care providers in teen high blood pressure screening and diagnosis processing. Ongoing education and research may engender proactive steps to develop universal guidelines, tools and practices to consistently and accurately detect high blood pressure in teens.