PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS OF THE PATIENTS ABOUT HYPERTENSION AND ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS
Aim: Although it is known that blood pressure control prevents the complications of hypertension, adequate blood pressure goals can not be achived in two thirds of the hypertensive patients. Difficulties in coping with life style modifications and drug compliance are accused as a cause of this fact. In this study we aimed to understand the perceptions about hypertension and the factors which effect adherence of hypertensive patients being followed in our outpatient clinic.
Material and Method: This was a qualitative study of 12 patients being followed at our outpatient clinic, data of which was collected by semi-structured focus group interviews within 5 questions. After having the informed consent of the participants the interviews were video-taped and accurately transcribed. Transcriptions were analysed and coded by two different researchers separately. After discussing the codes, close ones were identified as emerging themes.
Results: 5 of the 12 participants were men. Ages were between 48-72. Expressions of the participants could be classified in two major groups; their thoughts about hypertension and its reasons, and thoughts and beliefs that effect regular antihypertensive drug use. Being young, being able to regulate blood pressure by non-pharmacological approaches, fear of drug addiction, to know the drug side effects and keeping away from them were the themes that effect drug adherence negatively. Trusting the drug, fear of disease or complication, family history of hypertension were the factors which effected drug adherence positively.
Conclusion: Factors which effected drug adherence were similar with other researches. However, the factors which effected the patients’ decision about drug use after hypertension diagnosis seemed to be very individual. To improve drug adherence, physicians should spend more time to understand decisions of the patients.