Diagnosis, Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, Prevention, and Control of Hypertension in Cameroon: Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinic-Based and Community-Based Studies

JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 May 29;6(5):e102. doi: 10.2196/resprot.7807.


Background: Hypertension holds a unique place in population health and health care because it is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and the most common noncommunicable condition seen in primary care worldwide. Without effective prevention and control, raised blood pressure significantly increases the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, dementia, renal failure, and blindness. There is an urgent need for stakeholders-including individuals and families-across the health system, researchers, and decision makers to work collaboratively for improving prevention, screening and detection, diagnosis and evaluation, awareness, treatment and medication adherence, management, and control for people with or at high risk for hypertension. Meeting this need will help reduce the burden of hypertension-related disease, prevent complications, and reduce the need for hospitalization, costly interventions, and premature deaths.

Objective: This review aims to synthesize evidence on the epidemiological landscape and control of hypertension in Cameroon, and to identify elements that could potentially inform interventions to combat hypertension in this setting and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: The full search process will involve several steps, including selecting relevant databases, keywords, and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH); searching for relevant studies from the selected databases; searching OpenGrey and the Grey Literature Report for gray literature; hand searching in Google Scholar; and soliciting missed publications (if any) from relevant authors. We will select qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods studies with data on the epidemiology and control of hypertension in Cameroon. We will include published literature in French or English from electronic databases up to December 31, 2016, and involving adults aged 18 years or older. Both facility and population-based studies on hypertension will be included. Two reviewers of the team will independently search, screen, extract data, and assess the quality of selected studies using suitable tools. Selected studies will be analyzed by narrative synthesis, meta-analysis, or both, depending on the nature of the data retrieved in line with the review objectives.

Results: This review is part of an ongoing research program on disease prevention and control in the context of the dual burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in Africa. The first results are expected in 2017.

Conclusions: This review will provide a comprehensive assessment of the burden of hypertension and control measures that have been designed and implemented in Cameroon. Findings will form the knowledge base relevant to stakeholders across the health system and researchers who are involved in hypertension prevention and control in the community and clinic settings in Cameroon, as a yardstick for similar African countries.

Trial registration: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017054950; http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/ display_record.asp?ID=CRD42017054950 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6qYSjt9Jc).

Keywords: Africa; Cameroon; awareness; comorbidity; control; diagnosis; ecology; hypertension; management; medication adherence; meta-analysis; prevention; protocol; systematic review; treatment.