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To study the associations between the outcome of antihypertensive therapy with both patient-perceived problems and patient initiated modification of dosage instructions.In this cross-sectional survey, all chronic hypertensives aged less than 75 years (n = 971) visiting nine Finnish pharmacies between May and September of 1996 were asked to participate. Of the 866 agreeing to participate, 482 returned the questionnaire (56%). After excluding persons with missing data, the final study population consisted of 428 hypertensive patients. Information on problems with treatment, the modification of dosage instructions, and blood pressure levels was based on patient self-reports.Two-thirds (68%) of the study population reported suffering from one or more problems. The most common problems were symptoms of high blood pressure and adverse drug effects. Thirty-one percent of the male respondents and 21% of the female respondents reported having modified their dosage instructions. Only 36% of the patients had reached the goal blood pressure (<160/90 mmHg). Patients having problems with hypertension treatment were significantly more likely to have modified their dosage instructions than those without problems (3+ problems, adjusted OR = 4.8). Not reaching goal blood pressure levels was sigfinicantly associated with both high number of patient-perceived problems (3+ problems, adjusted OR = 2.1) and modification of dosage instructions (adjusted OR = 1.9).The poor outcome in antihypertensive therapy is associated with both patient-perceived problems and patient initiated modification of dosage instructions.