Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Intervention of Collective Exercise on the Mental Health of Elderly Hypertensive Patients

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Intervention of Collective Exercise on the Mental Health of Elderly Hypertensive Patients

Article excerpt

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The mental health of the elderly has been extensively investigated in the social aspect. Mental health problems have been observed in the elderly because of changes in age, living conditions, and physical conditions, such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and fear (1, 2). In modern medicine, hypertension is considered as a somatopsychic illness. Unhealthy lifestyle and psychosocial factors induce hypertension (3). Anxiety, depression, and other adverse psychological reactions severely affect elderly hypertensive patients (4). If these adverse somatopsychic conditions are not relieved for a long time, elderly hypertensive patients likely develop psychological illnesses; their psychological problems may be more serious and may thus develop into a social crisis. Therefore, geriatric care should focus on solving mental health problems of elderly hypertensive patients.

Hypertension is a worldwide health problem. The incidence of hypertension increases and the control effect remains unsatisfactory (5, 6). More than half of the elderly aged over 60 yr suffers from the hypertension (7). In 2010, 98,548 residents aged over 18 years were surveyed using a multi-stage stratified cluster random sampling method in 162 monitoring points in China. A total of 37,461 cases of hypertensive patients were detected, and the prevalence rate of hypertension mostly in the elderly was 38.0% (8). Zhang et al. surveyed the prevalence of hypertension aged ≥ 60 in Xinjiang, China and found that the prevalence of hypertension among the elderly aged ≥60 years is 65.0%. This finding indicates that hypertension seriously affects the mental health and life quality of the elderly (9). The mental health of primary hypertensive patients has been extensively investigated. Anger, anxiety, depression, fear, and other negative emotions likely induce primary hypertension. Negative emotions can reduce the life quality of patients and affect the development and prognosis of hypertension to a certain extent (10-12). Depression and other negative emotions can also reduce the compliance of hypertensive patients who consume antihypertensive drugs and affect the treatment of hypertension (13).

In terms of the mental health intervention of hypertensive patients, forest therapy in forest environment based on "cognitive therapy" has been administered to hypertensive patients in South Korea (14). Richardson et al. (15) facilitated physical exercise intervention experiments on patients with serious mental health problems, including a population with cardiovascular diseases as the original disease, then they concluded that changes in lifestyle positively affect the treatment of chronic diseases, exercise is a valuable and worthwhile intervention for patients suffering from chronic diseases with mental disorders. Wang and Lin (16) randomly divided hypertensive patients into two groups: aerobic training group and conventional drug control group. After experimental intervention was administered for 3 years, the material life score, psychological function score, social function score, and life quality score in the life quality comprehensive assessment questionnaire-74 (GQOLI4) of the training group were significantly higher than those of the control group (16). Therefore, appropriate exercise is a safe adjuvant therapy without inducing side effects to hypertensive patients; its effect on the mental health of patients has been consistently recognized. However, the cognitive domain of most patients in China that controls their blood pressure focuses on regular medicine intake and other basic treatment measures; their compliance in health maintenance and exercise is poor (17). Collective motion studies on psychological intervention in a specific population of elderly hypertensive patients are few.

This study aimed to provide a reference of the rehabilitation treatment of hypertension, to formulate social pension services, and to improve the mental health of the elderly in the future. …

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