Impact of Patient Perceptions on Compliance with Treatment for Hypertension

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Patient noncompliance with medical regimens is a major obstacle in achieving hypertension control. In this study the relationships between patients' perceptions of health, disease and medical treatment and compliance were examined in personal interviews with 142 patients under treatment for hypertension. Compliance was measured in terms of blood pressure control, self-reported medication-taking, and appointment keeping. A multivariate log linear technique was used to control confounding. Blood pressure control was found to be associated with the perceived efficacy of the antihypertensive regimen, having medications prescribed for other chronic conditions, a high level of anxiety when hypertension was first diagnosed, the impact of hypertension and its treatment on lifestyle, and a higher educational level. For self-reported medication-taking, the perceived severity of hypertension, having medications prescribed for other chronic conditions and older age were predictive. Blood pressure control and self-reported medication-taking were highly correlated with each other (p = .02). Older age and being employed were the only variables that contributed independently to improved appointment keeping behavior. From these findings, it might be expected that emphasis on the effectiveness of treatment and on the potential threat posed by hypertension would motivate improved blood pressure control.

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