Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Serious health consequences related to hypertension are amenable to lifestyle modifications. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review the literature to determine evidence-based lifestyle recommendations in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Searches were completed through Pub Med and CINAHL. Search terms included "blood pressure," "hypertension," "behavior modifications," and "lifestyle changes." Initial searches lead to the following primary topics of research: alcohol intake, food habits, sodium reduction, weight loss, exercise and behavior therapy. The findings of this literature review indicate that in the prevention and treatment of hypertension; alcohol intake should be reduced, a DASH style dietary pattern should be followed, dietary sodium should be restricted, dietary potassium should be increased, physical activity should be increased, and weight loss should be encouraged. The self-determination theory should be utilized when working with patients to implement lifestyle changes. Because of the high prevalence of hypertension and progression of the disease, these lifestyle modifications should be implemented early. In contrast to pharmacologic therapy, lifestyle modifications have the added benefit of being able to be implemented early and are also more cost effective, have no drug side effects or interactions, potentially benefit the patient in more ways than just blood pressure and also empower the patient to become an active participant in their health. Evidence-based recommendations can be used in the creation of a teaching product designed to support patients in implementing these changes to improve their blood pressure