Bobb-Liverpool, B. ; Duff, Edith M. ; Bailey, Ellen Y.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
UWI School of Nursing
Compliance and Blood Pressure Control in Women with Hypertension
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Compliance with treatment is a fundamental prerequisite for therapeutic benefit. The aim of this study is to determine the level of knowledge of hypertension, compliance with recommended antihypertensive therapy, and current blood pressure status in women with hypertension attending a Type V health centre. A pre-tested questionnaire with 37 in-depth items was administered to 30 (37.5%) women, selected by quota sampling, from a population of 80 women with hypertension, on four consecutive regular clinic days in May/June 2001. Weights and the mean of two blood pressure measurements were recorded. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 7.5. The median age and weight of the respondents was 57 years (range 36-85 years) and 80.3 kg (range 66.8-150 kg). Median duration of hypertension was five years. Fifty per cent of the sample were diabetic. The longer the patient had been hypertensive, the greater the compliance with medication (p < 0.05). Twenty per cent of non-diabetics were controlled to blood pressure < or = 140/90 mmHg and 13% of the diabetics were controlled to blood pressure < or = 135/85 mmHg. Twenty per cent reported ill effects from medication; 60% used 'folk remedies' such as garlic. Only 27% of patients were fully compliant with medication. Sixty per cent did no exercise, 73% did less than one hour of exercise per week. Diabetics took more exercise than non-diabetics (Z = -2.1, p < 0.05) and were more compliant with medication than non-diabetics (Z = -2.3, p < 0.05). All respondents included salt in their diets and consumed fruits and vegetables only 'sometimes'. One third believed that hypertension could be 'cured'. The overall median knowledge score and median compliance score were 50% (range 16.7%-100%) and 31% (range 13%-60%) respectively. This group had inadequate knowledge of hypertension, poor compliance with recommended antihypertensive therapy (JNCVI) and limited BP control. Counselling of these patients in the areas of medication, diet, exercise and weight control is recommended. Further research, using randomized samples, to inform interventions to improve the knowledge, compliance and self-care management of patients with hypertension is indicated.....