Exploring compliance to lifestyle modification amongst hypertensive clients in a selected community in Durban.
Muthwa, Nelisiwe Eugenia.
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Background Hypertension is a global health burden affecting developed and developing countries, and South Africa is no exception (Seedat, Croasdale, Milne, Opie, Atkinson, Rayner and Veriava, 2006). In 2003, hypertension was estimated to have caused 7.1 million premature deaths and accounted for 4.5% of the disease burden worldwide (Lippincott and Wilkins, 2003). In 2001, non-communicable diseases accounted for almost 60% of the 56 million deaths annually and 47% of the global burden of disease. In countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, the prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing, while the threat of communicable and poverty-related diseases (infant mortality, cholera and malnutrition) still exists (Belue, Okotor, Iwelunmor, Taylor, Degboe, Agyemang and Ogedegbe, 2009). Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the compliance of hypertensive clients to lifestyle modification practices within a selected community in Durban, and to make recommendations for a structured programme of health promotion, through lifestyle modification. Method A quantitative approach was adopted to explore the compliance to lifestyle modification amongst hypertensive clients, and purposive sampling was used. Data collection was through a structured, self-administered questionnaire. A total of 205 participants completed the questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided into nine sections: Section A was on biographic data, Section B referred to compliance with lifestyle modification, and Sections C- I dealt with health belief model constructs. A four-point Likert scale was used to assess the health belief model constructs. Results Results revealed that 90% of the respondents in the study had a good understanding of the benefits of complying with their doctor’s treatment and the recommended lifestyle modification practices. They also possessed good knowledge and understanding about their condition, a factor which made them more compliant with lifestyle modification practices. The majority of respondents viewed health information shared through TV and radio programmes as motivators that helped them to comply with lifestyle modifications, and cited long waiting periods in the clinic and insufficient time to engage in physical activities as barriers to their lifestyle modification. Recommendations Health education campaigns and structured programmes of health promotion concerning lifestyle modification practices should be emphasized, especially with regard to diet and exercise. Foods containing high amounts of animal fats and fast foods should be avoided, and the importance of doing physical activities for 30 minutes at least three times a week should be emphasized.