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Original Research

Understanding and Motivations of Female Community Health Volunteers About Blood Pressure Control: A Prerequisite for Developing Community-Based Hypertension Interventions in Nepal

Authors:

Dinesh Neupane ,

Department of Public Health, Center for Global Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK
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Craig S. McLachlan,

Faculty of Medicine, Rural Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, AU
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Shiva R. Mishra,

Nepal Development Society, Chitwan, NP
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Per Kallestrup

Department of Public Health, Center for Global Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK
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Abstract

Background: Health literacy and attitudes of female community health volunteers (FCHV) toward hypertension management in the context of Nepal are not well understood. Therefore, it is important to explore the potential for the effectiveness for blood pressure screening and perceptions on their likely ability to promote a blood pressure reduction at community level.

Objective: The study aims to explore the knowledge and attitudes of FCHV related to hypertension prevention and control.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with FCHV located inside Lekhnath municipality. A total of 113 FCHV were interviewed in the survey using a questionnaire on knowledge and attitudes related to hypertension and risk factors.

Results: The percentages of FCHV with low, medium, and high levels of knowledge about hypertension were 43%, 24%, and 31%, respectively. Almost all of the respondents considered hypertension a major problem in their community and they would like to receive training for blood pressure screening. No significant differences were observed in the knowledge and attitudes related to hypertension in relation to demographic characteristics of FCHV. A majority of FCHV agreed that smoking (69.8%), alcohol (77.8%), low physical activity (42.4%), high salt intake (65.4%), high fat intake (78.7%), and genetics (53.9%) are major risk factors for hypertension.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that there is a background need to improve the health literacy for blood pressure management. There is also a need for development and implementation of a community-based intervention aimed at mobilizing female community health volunteers for detection and management of hypertension at the community level in Nepal. Our study demonstrated a high level of interest and readiness for blood pressure prevention, control, and management in community settings.

Highlights

  • Thirty-one percent of FCHV had good knowledge about hypertension and its risk factors.
  • FCHV agreed that hypertension is emerging problem in their communities.
  • FCHV are willing to receive hypertension-related training in the future.
  • Prerequisites exist for community-based intervention for hypertension in Nepal.
How to Cite: Neupane D, McLachlan CS, Mishra SR, Kallestrup P. Understanding and Motivations of Female Community Health Volunteers About Blood Pressure Control: A Prerequisite for Developing Community-Based Hypertension Interventions in Nepal. Global Heart. 2017;12(3):227–32. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2016.09.003
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Published on 01 Sep 2017.
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