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Original Research

Adopting Task-Shifting Strategies for Hypertension Control in Ghana: Insights From a Realist Synthesis of Stakeholder Perceptions

Authors:

Juliet Iwelunmor ,

Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, US
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Deborah Onakomaiya,

NYU Langone Health, Department of Population Health, New York, New York, US
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Joyce Gyamfi,

NYU Langone Health, Department of Population Health, New York, New York, US
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Solomon Nyame,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Kingsley Apusiga,

School of Medical Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Kwame Adjei,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Kezia Mantey,

School of Medical Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Jacob Plange-Rhule,

School of Medical Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Kwaku Poku Asante,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Gbenga Ogedegbe

NYU Langone Health, Department of Population Health, New York, New York, US
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Abstract

Background: The adoption, intention, initial decision or action to implement evidence-based strategies for hypertension control in real-world settings is a challenge in low- and middle-income countries. Although stakeholders are essential for the adoption of evidence-based interventions, data on how to engage them to improve uptake of these strategies is lacking. Using a realist synthesis of stakeholder perspectives, the authors describe a process for engaging stakeholders to identify facilitators and barriers to the adoption of an evidence-based task-strengthening strategy for hypertension control in Ghana.

Objectives: To identify stakeholder perceptions of the factors influencing the adoption of evidence-based taskshifting strategies for hypertension control in Ghana.

Methods: A realist evaluation of interviews, focus groups, and brainstorming activities was conducted to evaluate stakeholder perceptions of an evidence-based strategy designed to identify, counsel, and refer patients with hypertension for care in community health centers. Stakeholders included community health officers, administrators, and policymakers from the Ghana Health Service, researchers, and community health officers in community-based health planning services in the Kintampo region of Ghana. The study used a realist synthesis approach to thematically analyze the qualitative data generated.

Results: Sixty-two stakeholders participated in the study. They identified inner contextual characteristics such as the provision of resources, training, supervision, and monitoring as well as community outreach as important for the adoption of an evidence-based strategy in Ghana. The findings highlight how stakeholders are faced with multiple and often competing system strains when contemplating uptake of evidence-based strategies for hypertension control.

Conclusions: Through the application of a realist synthesis of stakeholder perceptions, the study identified factors likely to enhance the adoption of an evidence-based strategy for hypertension control in Ghana. The lessons learned will help shape the translation of evidence in real-world settings, and could be valuable in future planning to enhance the adoption of evidence-based strategies for hypertension control in LMICs.

Highlights

  • We identified stakeholders’ perceptions of factors influencing the adoption of a task-shifting strategy for hypertension control within community-based health planning and services zones.
  • The stakeholders identified inner contextual characteristics such as the provision of resources, training, supervision and monitoring, and community outreach as important factors for adoption of evidence-based strategy for hypertension management in Ghana.
  • Findings from this study will help shape the translation of evidence-based interventions in real-world settings.
How to Cite: Iwelunmor J, Onakomaiya D, Gyamfi J, Nyame S, Apusiga K, Adjei K, et al.. Adopting Task-Shifting Strategies for Hypertension Control in Ghana: Insights From a Realist Synthesis of Stakeholder Perceptions. Global Heart. 2019;14(2):119–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2019.05.007
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Published on 01 Jun 2019.
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