Knowledge of Public Health Care Providers in the Management of Hypertension in Volta Region and Patients' Response to Indicators for Quality Health Care

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Prevalence and fatalities of non-communicable diseases and in particular Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), is on the increase globally but not receiving the same attention in terms of finance, publicity and education when compared with communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Reducing high blood pressure has the potential to significantly reduce CVDs and thus the health care provider's knowledge in the management of hypertension is important. The objective of the study was to determine the level of knowledge of the health care providers in the management of hypertension in the public health institutions in the Volta Region and its effect on management and control of hypertension. The design of the research was a cross-sectional study that aimed at investigating the knowledge of health care providers who were managing hypertension at the out patient department in the public health institutions (for more than a year prior to this research). Hypertensive patients who attended these hospitals were also interviewed to find out from them the level of care they were receiving from care providers. Questionnaires were administered to service providers' groups and interviews granted patients. Patients' treatment folders records reviewed for documented services rendered. Results showed that in the prescribed group. Doctors had a higher knowledge (90.2%) than the Medical Assistants (69.8) in the management of hypertension and in the dispensers' group, Dispensing technicians had a higher knowledge (73.3%) than the "Other" dispensers in pharmaceutical care for hypertensive patients. The overall average score for the four groups of health care providers was 71.4% in the management of hypertension though this level of knowledge did not match the care being provided. Conclusion was that the health service providers in the region (though sample size was small and could not be used to generalize the whole region) had very good knowledge in the management of hypertension but this did not produce equivalent service delivery for patients affected by this disease.
A thesis presented to the Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science (Msc) in Clinical Pharmacy