Knowledge, attitudes and practice of patients regarding hypertension in the hypertensive clinic new Mulago Hospital
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Hypertension is a common disorder and powerful risk factor for death and disability from heart disease and kidney failure. Worldwide, it affects an estimated 690 million persons and it is the major risk factor for stroke. The good news is that safe and effective treatments are available. In majority of patients, hypertension can be diagnosed easily and blood pressure can be controlled. Unfortunately most hypertensive patients have uncontrolled blood pressure(Menshan, 2002). OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY: To establish the knowledge, attitudes and practices of patients regarding hypertension in Hypertensive clinic new mulago. METHODOLOGY: The study which was descriptive, cross sectional and quantitative in nature was carried out in new mulago hypertensive clinic in 2007. A Sample of 100 hypertensive patients was interviewed using pretested questionaires. RESULTS: Patients were aware of the signs and symptoms of hypertension. They gave stress 60(40.8%) as the major cause of pressure. They also knew that death 60(28.8%), paralysis 53(25.2%) and blindness 54(25.7%) were among the serious effects of hypertension. A Significant number of patients were given instructions/education about hypertension 62(62%). Education recieved from health workers 55(87.3%) focused mainly on the control of hypertension. Patients strongly agreed that pressure is a serious disease 73(73%). They strongly agreed 47(47%)and agreed 45(45%) that they could keep their blood pressure under control. Patients knew that hypertension could be controlled 92(92%) mainly through taking medication, eating less fat and salt and through exercising. Patients knew that they were supposed to take their medication daily 99(99%), 57(57%) took their medication as prescribed. They mainly identified their medicine by packaging 56(41.2%). Most of those who used traditional treatment 52(52%) didnot know the traditional treatment they used. Most patients exercise 91(91%) bt walking 83(67.5%). Patients knew that hypertension requires a special diet but 85(83.3%) ate all kinds of foods and 79(78.2%) restricted none. CONCLUSION(S) Majority of patients, 62(62%) had recieved education/instruction about hypertension which focused mainly on the control of thier condition. However, patients had significant knowledge about signs and symptoms of pressure, they knew that stress was the major cause of hypertension and that death; paralysis and blindness were among the serious effects of hypertension. Majority of patients knew that they were supposed to take medication daily 99(99%) but 57(57%) took their medicine as prescribed. They had positive attitudes towards their condition though a smaller percentage of them had positive attitudes towards their diet. A much higher percentage admitted that they were not really adhering to the diet.