Patient-related barriers to hypertension control in a Nigerian population
Chimezie Godswill Okwuonu,1 Nnamdi Ezekiel Ojimadu,2 Enajite Ibiene Okaka,3 Fatai Momodu Akemokwe4
1Nephrology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, 2Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Center Umuahia, Abia State, 3Renal Unit, 4Neurology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
Background: Hypertension control is a challenge globally. Barriers to optimal control exist at the patient, physician, and health system levels. Patient-related barriers in our environment are not clear. The aim of this study was to identify patient-related barriers to control of hypertension among adults with hypertension in a semiurban community in South-East Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study of patients with a diagnosis of hypertension and on antihypertensive medication.
Results: A total of 252 participants were included in the survey, and comprised 143 males (56.7%) and 109 females (43.3%). The mean age of the participants was 56.6±12.7 years, with a diagnosis of hypertension for a mean duration of 6.1±3.3 years. Among these patients, 32.9% had controlled blood pressure, while 39.3% and 27.8%, respectively, had stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension according to the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection and Evaluation of High Blood Pressure. Only 23.4% knew the consequences of poor blood pressure control and 64% were expecting a cure from treatment even when the cause of hypertension was not known. Furthermore, 68.7% showed low adherence to medication, the reported reasons for which included forgetfulness (61.2%), financial constraints (56.6%), high pill burden (22.5%), side effects of medication (17.3%), and low measured blood pressure (12.1%). Finally, knowledge and practice of the lifestyle modifications necessary for blood pressure control was inadequate among the participants.
Conclusion: Poor knowledge regarding hypertension, unrealistic expectations of treatment, poor adherence with medication, unawareness of lifestyle modification, and failure to apply these were identified as patient-related barriers to blood pressure control in this study.
Keywords: Blood pressure, medication adherence, knowledge of hypertension, proteinuria, diabetes mellitus, lifestyle modification
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