Impact of awareness about hypertension on compliance to antihypertensive medication
Keywords:Antihypertensive medication, Compliance, Impact of awareness
Background: Hypertension, a common cardiovascular disorder accounts for 20-50% of all deaths. This risk can be greatly ameliorated by creating awareness about disease and its effective treatment alongside regular medical check-ups. Therapeutic failures result from patient non-compliance, manifested as intentional or unintentional errors in dosage or schedule, overuse or underuse of prescribed drugs and early termination of therapy. Adherence is helpful for management of hypertension and cost minimization. Non-adherence to the drug treatment is an important factor for uncontrolled hypertension and its complications.
Methods: Patients were interviewed individually after taking informed consent, using pretested, predesigned, self- administered and closed ended questionnaire both before and 4 weeks after creating awareness about hypertension and its complications. Compliance measured by self-reporting in which knowledge of the patient about number of antihypertensive drugs being used, formulations of drugs, frequency of administration, duration of taking the drugs and knowledge of complications due to uncontrolled and untreated hypertension were assigned 1 score each. Patient having score of at least 4 out of total 5 was considered compliant.
Results: No significant association of compliance with demographic and other variables like age, sex, marital status, economic status, education, urbanization, duration of treatment and drug procurement were noted. A significant increase in compliance in patients on antihypertensive medication was found 4 weeks after creating awareness about hypertension and its complication. A significant increase in compliance scores was also seen in non-compliant patients showing their shifting from non-compliance to compliance group. Overall compliance increased from 59.38% to 84.38%. A percentage decrease from 58.82% to 25% in patients having uncontrolled hypertension was also observed after the awareness about hypertension.
Conclusions: Demographic variables, duration of hypertension and drug procurement have no significant effect on compliance to antihypertensive medication. There is persistence and improvement in compliance to antihypertensive medications after an education of the patients about hypertension and its complications.
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