Compliance of Nigerians with drug treatment of systemic hypertension: Is this just a literacy problem

  • VA Josephs


Patient's compliance (PC) is a very vital link between the medical process and treatment outcome. Many factors  that affect it such as cost of drugs, adverse effect of drugs and perhaps inconvenient dosing have been addressed at different times, either by the drug manufacturers or the physician in hypertension management. The role of  literacy on the compliance of the Nigerians in drug treatment of systemic hypertension was examined in a cross  sectional study involving all the 770 patients that were seen in the cardiology clinic of the University of Benin  teaching hospital over a two month period. Information which included ethnicity, marital status, occupation, highest level of education attained, names of drugs and the number of drugs taken were obtained by direct questioning  using close ended questionnaire. This information was later analyzed by standard statistical methods. Of the 770 patients examined, 112 (14.5%) had no form of formal education; 130(16.9%) attempted or completed primary  school educations, 94(12.2%) attempted or completed secondary school education; and 437(56.4%) had one form of tertiary education or the other ranging from diploma courses to degree programmes. Out of the770 patients,  546 (70.9%) could tell the number of drugs prescribed for them and only 359 (46.6%) could tell the names of their drugs. Only 186 patients (24.2%) could tell both the names and the number of drugs prescribed for them. The  patient's compliance rate was 30.8% overall. The findings suggest that level of education does not guarantee drug  compliance. The implication is that even the educated need to be educated about their participation in the  treatment process.

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eISSN: 1596-6941