ANALYSIS OF HYPERTENSION PERCEPTION OUTLOOK IN A RURAL HYPERTENSIVE POPULATION: AT THE BASIC HEALTH UNIT LEVEL
Objective: To find out the knowledge and preferences of a rural hypertensive populace.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Conducted at the Basic Health Unit (BHU) Mangat Neecha in March, 2018.
Material and Methods: Systematic, probability sampling was done. A total of 143 hypertensive patients regardless of age labeled as hypertensive: Visiting from each of the 12 villages under charge of each Lady Health Worker; within the BHU Mangat Neecha bracket were included in the study. Informed consent was taken from all the patients who participated in the study and the data were analyzed using SPSS 20.
Results: Eighty-four (58%) patients who did not know of their normal blood pressure, 100 (70%) patients either did not know or were not told of their high BP by their healthcare provider. Sixty four (45%) patients did not consider hypertension a serious life threat. Only 29 (20%) patients could correctly identify the SBP (Systolic Blood Pressure 120 mmHg) number and another 16 (11%) the DBP (Diastolic Blood Pressure), 32 (22.3%) patients agreed having resorted to alternative cures for their illness like homeopathy etc. Eighty four (58%) patients had the perception of hypertension being a normal part of ageing and 60% (n=86) considered it incurable. While 100 (70%) patients agreed the role of medication in BP control and 133 (93%) supported the claim of exercise being of help, only 16 (11%) patients gave weight age to dietary/behavioral changes as an integral part of attaining adequate blood pressure control.
Conclusion: Our results suggested existence of inadequate knowledge and awareness about hypertension amongst the hypertensive patients at grass roots level. In general, they fail to recognize hypertension as a very serious health concern owing to lack of percolating public healthcare awareness initiatives. Therefore, extensive patient education and counseling is necessary to improve the adherence of patients to antihypertensive medications as well as better equip them to understand its affects on decreasing their cardiovascular event risk.