Adherence to anti-hypertensive medication regimens among patients attending the G.P.H.A. Hospital in Takoradi - Ghana.

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Background: Adherence is the extent to which a person’s medication-taking behaviour coincides with the healthcare providers’ medical advice. It includes both dosing regularity and timing of intake. Many physicians face the problem of non-adherence among their hypertensive patient population. During the first year of treatment 16 – 50% of patients stop taking their high blood pressure medications. Overall, it is estimated that only about 30 – 50% of patients with hypertension adhere precisely to their hypertension medication regimens. Adherence is important in the treatment of hypertension Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the extent of non-adherence to hypertensive medication regimen in G.P.H.A. Hospital, Takoradi. The reasons for non-adherence in the study were also evaluated. Methods: A prospective study of 150 hypertensive patients on medication for at least 6 months, who reported at the OPD of this hospital, was carried out. The Morisky questionnaire was administered to the patients and reasons for non-adherence sought. Pregnancy related hypertensive patients were excluded in this study. Results: The study revealed that total adherence to anti-hypertensive medications regimens was 19.3% and partial or medium adherence was 49.3%. Hence the adherence rates (i.e. those who took their medications ≥ 75%) to anti-hypertensive medicines in the institution was 68.6% and the non-adherence rate was 31.4%. The major reasons for non-adherence were forgetfulness (45.4%) by the patient to take medications on time or missed doses and side effects of the medications (20.8%). Finance (10.4% was also a problem for the paying patients who have to make up-front payment to re-fill their medicines. Conclusion: The prevalence of adherence among hypertensive patients in this health facility was 68.6%. Thus, indicating the need for adherence counselling.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.