Knowledge of hypertension and its management among hypertensive patients on chronic medicines at primary health care public sector facilities in South Africa: findings and implications

Enos M. Rampamba, Johanna C. Meyer, Elvera Helberg, Brian Godman

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There are high growing prevalence rates of hypertension in South Africa. Consequently, there is a need to assess knowledge and management among hypertensive patients receiving chronic medication from primary health care (PHC) facilities in South Africa as a basis for improving future management. This is important as South Africa seeks to improve its management of chronic diseases.
Descriptive, quantitative study amongst chronic hypertensive patients in the chronic disease programme. Patients were interviewed face-to-face by trained pharmacists using a structured questionnaire. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics.
Half (53.7%) of the patients had uncontrolled blood pressure (BP). Less than a third of patients (27.7%) knew what hypertension is, the meaning of recorded BP numbers (4.5%), and what normal BP should be (19.9%). All patients who knew the meaning of BP numbers had formal education (p = 0.047). Only 15.6% of the 56.0% patients, who received hypertension information, received it on antihypertensive medicines specifically.
The majority of the patients lacked hypertension specific knowledge and only half had controlled BP. Interventions to improve the control of high BP should be targeted at closing knowledge gaps as part of the current chronic treatment initiatives in South Africa to ensure the benefits of increased access to care are realized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy
Early online date25 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jul 2017


  • chronic medication
  • hypertension
  • knowledge
  • primary health care
  • South Africa

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