Date of Conferral
Hypertension is a chronic non-communicable disease and a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, renal malfunction, disability, and premature death. One of the public health recommendations for the management of hypertension is the reduction of sodium/salt intake. There is need to develop and implement new evidence-based theoretical interventions to initiate and sustain behavior change in health education and promotion. Therefore, the quantitative cross-sectional method and design was used to investigate the adequacy of multi-theory model (MTM) constructs for the initiation and the sustenance of low sodium/salt intake behavior in hypertensive Nigerian adults. In addition, the impact of the MTM (initiation) constructs on actual salt/sodium intake was evaluated to validate self-reported behavior. A convenience sample of 149 consenting Nigerian adults with hypertension and of ages 20 to 60 years, self -administered the valid and reliable 39-item MTM instrument. The findings of confirmatory factor analysis showed construct validity of subscales for the initiation and sustenance model. All items loading for the two models were significant, p < 0.001. Multivariate regression analysis revealed 40.6% of the variance in initiating the consumption of low salt diets explained by advantages outweighing disadvantages, behavioral confidence, and changes in physical environment. About 41.8 % of the variance to sustain the intake of low salt diet was explained by emotional transformation, practice for change, and changes in social environment. The results justified the predictive role of MTM and adequacy of its utility to build evidence-based health education programs and interventions to address the health need of people with hypertension and contribute to social change in the country.