December 22, 2015

Cultural Dance Program Improves Hypertension Management for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: a Pilot Randomized Trial

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, Mele Look, Tricia Mabellos, Guangxiang Zhang, Mapuana de Silva, Sheryl Yoshimura, Cappy Solatorio, Thomas Wills, Todd B. Seto, and Ka‘imi A. Sinclair

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Objective – Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) bear an unequal burden of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Hula, the traditional dance of Hawaii, has shown to be a culturally meaningful form of moderate-vigorous physical activity for NHPI. A pilot study was done in Honolulu, Hawaii, to test a 12-week hula-based intervention, coupled
with self-care education, on blood pressure management in NHPI with hypertension in 2013.

Method – NHPI with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140mmHg were randomized to the intervention (n=27) or await-list control (n=28). Blood pressure, physical functioning, and eight aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQL) were assessed.

Results – The intervention resulted in a reduction in SBP compared to control (−18.3 vs. −7.6 mmHg, respectively, p≤0.05) from baseline to 3-month post-intervention. Improvements in HRQL measures of bodily pain and social functioning were significantly associated with SBP improvements in both groups.

Conclusion – Using hula as the physical activity component of a hypertension intervention can serve as a culturally congruent strategy to blood pressure management in NHPI with hypertension.

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