Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

Health Professions

First Advisor

Della Hughes-Carter

Second Advisor

Anne McKay

Academic Year



Background/Local Problem: A rural family practice was concerned about the number of

patients with uncontrolled hypertension, 19.86% n = 56, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After several quality improvement (QI) initiates to lower the prevalence rate of uncontrolled hypertension, including proper measurement techniques and home monitoring, the modifiable risk factor of adapting one’s food intake was introduced using the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet as an intervention. The DASH diet is an evidence-based approach for lowering blood pressure. The QI project was completed with the purpose of implementing DASH diet education and measuring patient adherence to the DASH diet.

Methods: The QI project is a pre/post QI design in which the PDSA cycle was used as a framework for implementation. Interventions: Patients were educated on the DASH diet during an office visit and a follow-up telephone call three weeks later provided further support and assessment of knowledge and adherence.

Results: A paired t-test was run on the pre and post-surveys demonstrated a statistically significant change (p=0.048) in knowledge and a moderately statistically significant change (p=0.076) in adherence. Conclusion: For patients with uncontrolled blood pressure in a rural family practice, education on the DASH diet and follow-up phone call, provides an opportunity to improve DASH diet knowledge and adherence. Further studies will determine if improved blood pressure is achieved in this population.