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Port Harcourt Medical Journal

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Hypertension detection and control in Port Harcourt: knowledge gap factor among primary care physicians

MR Akpa, S Dodiyi-Manuel

Abstract


Background: Hypertension detection, awareness and control is low in Nigeria and Africa generally. Several factors, including Physicians' knowledge gap are responsible, but this is not usually emphasized. We sought to identify the role and the degree of knowledge gap in the control and management of hypertension by evaluating basic knowledge in hypertension diagnosis and treatment among a group of primary care physicians attending a continuing medical education program on hypertension.
Methodology: A pre-test self-administered questionnaire on knowledge of hypertension diagnosis and treatment among physicians attending a workshop on continuing medical education on  hypertension in Port Harcourt, Nigeria was conducted in June 2013. Post test was also administered. Participants were drawn from both private and public medical practice. The questionnaire contained demographic data and knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. The data was analysed with SPSS version  16.0.
Results: A total of 30 physicians 8 females (26.7%) and 22 males (73.3%) filled and returned the administered questionnaires out of forty six participants. Age range was 33 to 56 years  mean age was 42.8±7.4 years. Sixteen (53.3%) had knowledge of cut off blood pressure for the diagnosis of hypertension, 10 (33.3%) knew about guidelines for diagnosis and treatment, 18 (60%) knew that diuretics was first line drug in blacks, 10 (33.3%) had knowledge of isolated systolic hypertension.
Conclusion: Physicians' knowledge gap in hypertension detection and application of recommended guidelines in its management exist in the group of physicians surveyed and is an important impediment to the control of hypertension in Nigeria.

Keywords: Hypertension, Hypertension control, Guidelines, Nigeria



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