To assess average out of expenditure incurred on hypertension management and treatment seeking behaviour among patients in Delhi, India.Design and Method:
A community based cross sectional study was conducted in rural and urban slum areas of Delhi to select a total of 160 (142 rural and 18 urban slum) hypertension patients. These patients were detected from the cross sectional screening survey among 200 adults in urban area and 1005 in rural area selected by systematic random sampling. A pre-tested questionnaire in local language consisting of items on information about the average out of pocket expenditure incurred on hypertension treatment. Data was analysed using SPSS software. Chi-square, fisher exact or Mann Whitney tests were used for significance.Results:
Out of 160 participants, 18 (11.2%) were from urban slum area and 142 (88.8%) were from rural area. Mean age of hypertension patients in urban area was 49.58+12.07years and in rural area was 51.18+11.47years. 7 (38.8%) patients in urban slum area and 75 (52.8%) patients in rural area reported that they are not taking any treatment for hypertension (p=0.005). When asked about the reasons for not taking any treatment; lack of money, distance of the health facility from residence, dissatisfied with long queues and waiting time and no need of taking treatment were some of the reasons given by the patients. In urban area, 6 (33.3%) patients told that it is a burden on their family while in rural area 63 (44.3%) of the patients told that they have to squeeze money from the family expenditure to afford drugs. Weighted mean for average expenditure of hypertension management came out to be Rs 512.76 (7.70$) per person in last three months.Conclusions:
Public health care facilities should be established for easy and affordable availability of drugs so that burden of disease on patient family can be reduced.