Because the elderly are viewed as having more difficulty in complying with therapy, this analysis was directed at the effects of a health education program on their control of primary hypertension when compared with a younger population. The program consisted of three sequential interventions introduced in a randomized factorial design. Despite the fact that elderly patients had more chronic disease, more complications from hypertension, and were receiving more complex drug therapies than younger patients exposed to the same experimental interventions, they demonstrated significantly higher levels of compliance with drug therapy, significantly higher levels of appointment keeping, and no difference in the proportion having their BP under control at two-year follow-up. Longitudinal data collected at five-year follow-up indicate no decay effect. These results indicate such programs can be successfully implemented and equally effective for an elderly population.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1835-1838)