The impact of knowledge of hypertension on blood pressure control among the elderly hypertensives attending a primary health care facility in Ekiti, South West Nigeria
Background: Little information is available on blood pressure control among the elderly in Nigeria despite the broad knowledge that hypertension is a major health challenge and frequently diagnosed medical condition in this age group. As the case detection rates of hypertension increase in elderly Nigerians, achieving target blood pressure control has become an important management challenge. This study aimed at assessing if adequate hypertension knowledge would lead to blood pressure control in the study population.
Objectives: To determine the knowledge of hypertension of the respondents and the changes on blood pressure level post patient education.
Methods: This was a case-control study conducted at a Primary health care facility. The study was on 300 elderly hypertensives (150 in the intervention group and 150 in the control group) who had been on antihypertensives for a minimum of three months.
Results: While the difference in the mean knowledge score in the intervention group increased to a statistically significant level (p<0.001), there was a marginal difference in the control group (p>0.05). Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference in the blood pressure control of the study groups pre-intervention (p >0.05), but at the end of the study, the intervention respondents (98%) had significantly good blood pressure control in comparison with the control respondents (59.3%). The knowledge level and blood pressure control had significant association among the intervention group (p <0.001).
Conclusion: The findings suggest that good knowledge of hypertension is linked to an improvement in the blood pressure control.
Keywords: Hypertension, Knowledge, Blood pressure, Elderly