Perceived family support and its effect on cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive patients presenting at a family medicine practice in south west nigeria
Background: Lifestyle modification and health care behaviour are influenced by the support of family members. Family support is a
socioeconomic factor that affects many chronic medical illnesses' outcome. It influences medication adherence, blood pressure control and could affect the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The aim of this study is to assess the level of family support and determine the relationship between family support and cardiovascular
disease risk in patients with hypertension.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 345 hypertensive patients ages 30 years and above using simple random
technique. Data were collected with an interviewer-administered questionnaire, physical examination and blood investigation.
Perceived family support and cardiovascular disease risk were assessed with Perceived Social Support Family Scale and Framingham
General cardiovascular risk score respectively. Level of significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: Majority (75.5%) of the respondents was females, 40.3% were elderly and 71.7% were married. Most of the respondents (93.3%) had strong perceived family support while 1.7% and 4.7% had no and weak perceived family support respectively. Blood pressure was controlled in 58.6% of the respondents and 30.7% had low cardiovascular disease risk. Strong perceived family support
was associated with being currently married. There was no association found between blood pressure control, cardiovascular disease
risk and perceived family support.
Conclusions: The proportion of hypertensive patients with strong perceived family support is high in this practice setting. However,
there was no association found between perceived family support and cardiovascular disease risk.
Keywords: Hypertension, perceived family support, blood pressure control, cardiovascular disease risk, family medicine practice