oa South African Family Practice - The knowledge and beliefs of hypertensive patients attending Katleho District Hospital in Free State province, South Africa, about their illness : research
Introduction : Hypertension is a common chronic condition. A sound understanding of people's beliefs is required in this regard. Usually, poor compliance and decisions by patients to stop taking conventional treatment and to use complementary remedies and traditional remedies arise from poor knowledge of hypertension. The complications of hypertension in non-adherent patients are a concern at Katleho District Hospital. This study sought to explore the knowledge of and beliefs held by patients attending Katleho District Hospital in Virginia on hypertension.
Method : An exploratory descriptive qualitative study was conducted on hypertensive patients attending the outpatient department of Katleho District Hospital. Ten key informants were purposively selected. The exploratory question asked of participants was: "Could you please explain to me your beliefs on, and what you understand about, high blood pressure?" Themes were identified manually and ideas grouped using the cut and paste method.
Results : Five themes were identified, namely correct knowledge about hypertension, incorrect knowledge of hypertension, lack of knowledge regarding hypertension, beliefs about it and misconceptions about it. There were 19 subthemes. Participants demonstrated good knowledge of hypertension, its causes, symptoms and management. However, beliefs and misconceptions influenced their interpretation and response to hypertension.
Conclusion : This study highlights the importance of understanding patients' knowledge and beliefs in order to forge relationships that promote optimal care and compliance with treatment.
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