African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine
On-line version ISSN 2071-2936
Print version ISSN 2071-2928
ADEBOLU, Folafolu A. and NAIDOO, Mergan. Blood pressure control amongst patients living with hypertension presenting to an urban district hospital outpatient clinic in KwaZulu-Natal. Afr. j. prim. health care fam. med. (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.6, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2071-2936. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.572.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of hypertension in South Africa has been estimated to be 20% of the adult population with over six million people being affected. Poor adherence to treatment plans lead to inadequate blood pressure control and high morbidity. Many studies have looked at factors contributing to poor blood pressure control in South Africa but few studies actually focus on district hospitals in Kwazulu-Natal in particular, despite the fact that the province has the most heterogeneous population in South Africa. METHOD: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted at the chronic outpatient clinic of an urban district hospital involving 370 participants aged 18-90 years RESULT: The study showed poorly controlled blood pressure in 58% of the participants. Only 35% knew their blood pressure results on the day of interview and 19.2% were aware of their target blood pressure. Good adherence was self-reported by 95% of the participants, whist 51.4% reported significant side-effects to medication. CONCLUSION: The majority of patients had poor knowledge about blood pressure and little awareness of their blood pressure reading. These may be precursors to poor blood pressure control and this needs further investigation. A high level of self-reported adherence to medication did not translate into effective blood pressure control. A significant number reported medication side-effects which may have contributed to the poor blood pressure control. The high adherence rate may therefore have been over reported. An objective way to measure adherence will be necessary for future research.