AIM: The study objective was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices on hypertension of 240 adult Nigerian Africans with hypertension and their impact on compliance with antihypertensive drugs
METHOD: It was a descriptive survey of 240 consented consecutive adult patients with hypertension who attended the Cardiology Clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria, between April 2008 and March 2009. The hospital is rural health institution in south west Nigeria
RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen patients (47.5%) were men and 126 (52.5%) were women. Mean age was 48.8±13.2 years. Mean systolic and diastolic BP were 156.8±25.1 mmHg and 98.4±18.7 mmHg respectively. Only less than half (47.1%) showed good knowledge of their hypertension. However, 141 (58.8%) possessed good knowledge of their antihypertensive drugs. Knowledge of hypertension was better in women than in men (59.3% vs 40.7%, p=0.014). Compliance to medications was good in only 77 (32.1%) of the patients. The reasons attributed to included: poor knowledge of the disease and ignorance of the need for long-term treatment (95, 32.6%); high cost of medications (63, 21.7%); religious practices and cultural beliefs (37, 12.5%); adverse drug reactions (19, 6.5%); inadequate access to medical care (18, 6.2%); and use of complimentary medications (60, 20.5%).
CONCLUSION: The majority of our hypertensive patients still have a poor knowledge of their disease with a significant negative impact on compliance with medications. No doubt, there is a need to invent more effective education strategies directed towards the public in general and the patients in particular.
Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Compliance, Antihypertensive Drugs, Nigerian Africans
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