Factors affecting self-management of hypertensive patients attending family medicine clinics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

J Family Med Prim Care. 2019 Dec 10;8(12):4003-4009. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_752_19. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Background/aim: Hypertension (HBP) is a chronic disease that has become a public health problem, which has been attributed to numerous risk factors. However, despite numerous HBP management and behavioral treatment guidelines, HBP is poorly controlled among patients due to insufficient care. We conducted this study to identify the prevalence of self-management behaviors and to explore factors affecting self-management behaviors for controlling HBP among hypertensive patients.

Methods: We conducted a survey using the Hypertension Self-Care Profile (HBP-SCP) and the Hill-Bone Adherence Scale among diagnosed HBP patients attending the Family Medicine clinics of King Saud Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in January 2019. All patients of Saudi nationality aged 18 years and above were included in the study.

Results: A total of 187 patients responded to the survey, 95 (50.8%) males and 92 (49.2%) females. Only 93 patients (49.7%) monitor their BP at home, and 68 (36.4%) always measure their BP. Ninety-one patients (48.7%) said that measuring their BP is not important. The most common reason for not taking the anti-HBP medications is they forget to take the medications in 87 (46.5%) of patients. Seventy-two patients (38.5%) did not restrict salt intake, and 51 patients (27.3%) had no time for exercise. More than half of the patients (51.3%) were not motivated to regularly exercise and 56.7% were motivated to limit salt-intake. Confidence to exercise, check BP at home, and eat low-salt foods were also low at 52.4-53.5%. Significant factors including gender, age, BMI, duration of HBP, and presence of cardiac disease were found to be related toward behavior, motivation, and confidence to self-care.

Conclusion: Compliance, behavior, motivation, and self-care among hypertensive patients visiting the primary care clinics in our representative population are low. Various factors were found to be related to poor behavior, poor motivation, and less confidence to do home BP monitoring, to exercise more, restrict salt intake, and value the control of HBP. There is a need for health practitioners to assess self-care activities and blood pressure control, and educate patients the importance of HBP monitoring and teaching practical techniques to boost their confidence and motivation to achieve a better behavior, self-care, and compliance to management.

Keywords: Factors; family medicine; hypertension; self-management; self-medication.