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, 2006