What is it about?

Prevention is better than cure. Hypertension can be prevented through multiple hypertension self-care behaviour that involves various lifestyle changes. This survey uncovers factors that influence the adoption of hypertension self-care behaviour based on a health behavioural model in a Malaysian community. Over 200 responses from Malaysians above 18 years old, residing in the states of Selangor or Kuala Lumpur without formal diagnosis of hypertension were included. Our study highlighted the urgent need for interventions to improve specific diet- and physical activity-related self-care behaviour. We also identified common ‘motivators’ (e.g. maintain and improve health, prevent disease) and ’barriers’ (e.g. lack of time, limited choices, laziness) that contributed to the frequency or challenge in practicing these behaviours.

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Why is it important?

Interventions for disease prevention developed based on theoretical behavioural models are much more effective than those without. This is the first study that looked at the application of behavioural models in the prevention of high blood pressure in a Malaysian community without formal diagnosis of hypertension. We anticipate that findings from this study will serve as a basis for developing preventive interventions or educational programmes tailored to local cultural, environmental and personal factors to more effectively reduce the hypertension prevalence and burden.


This research shows that Malaysians are experiencing the indirect effects of urbanization on our health. We hope that outcomes from this survey will aid government policy makers or healthcare providers to design more effective programmes to not just to prevent the onset of hypertension but to ultimately promote communities with healthy aging.

Yuh Fen Pung
University of Nottingham Malaysia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Health motivations and perceived barriers are determinants of self-care behaviour for the prevention of hypertension in a Malaysian community, PLoS ONE, December 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0278761.
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