Hypertensive patients perception of their illness: A qualitative study
AbstractBackground - Studies have shown that as much as 50% of patients diagnosed with hypertension do not adhere to management recommendations. This adherence behaviour is related to the perception of hypertension by these patients. This study is aimed at providing better understanding of the reasons why hypertensive patients do not follow treatment and lifestyle changes recommendations in a primary care setting.
Study methods - This study utilised a qualitative methodology. Data were collected from in – depth interviews with twelve hypertensive patients attending follow-up in the government Family Practice clinics of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Western Nigeria. The transcribed data were analysed using thematic method.
Results - There was evidence from the data of inadequate knowledge of hypertension by the patients. Although the patients recognised the need for treatment of hypertension, they are not knowledgeable about the chronic nature of hypertension at the initial consultation. They felt hypertension is curable. They did not participate in decision making on the commencement of antihypertensive drugs. This attitude plays a significant role in non adherence to management recommendations. The patients did not have adequate knowledge of non drug management of hypertension because of inadequate information from care givers during clinic consultation. There was evidence that the patients made use of alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of hypertension.
Conclusion - Hypertensive patients need information during their encounter with health care providers on hypertension and related drug and non – drug management. Adherence to hypertension management recommendations depends on adequate patient information on these issues.