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Original Research

Capacity and Readiness for Implementing Evidence-Based Task-Strengthening Strategies for Hypertension Control in Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors:

Solomon Nyame,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Juliet Iwelunmor,

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

Division of Health & Behavior, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University, New York, New York, US
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Kezia Gladys Amaning Adjei,

Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Kwame Adjei,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Kingsley Apusiga,

Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Joyce Gyamfi,

Division of Health & Behavior, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University, New York, New York, US
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Kwaku Poku Asante ,

Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, GH
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Jacob Plange-Rhule

Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, GH
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Abstract

Background: Assessing the practice capacity for hypertension management and control within community-based health planning and services system is an important step toward implementing evidence-based interventions to reduce uncontrolled hypertension at the community level.

Objectives: To assess the capacity and readiness of community health workers to implement a task-strengthening strategy for hypertension control (TASSH) at the community level.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research conducted among community health workers in 6 contiguous districts within the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. Study variables were described using frequency tables.

Results: A total of 179 community health officers (CHOs) were interviewed. The majority of respondents knew lifestyle-related messages to be provided to their clients such as heart-healthy diets (91.6%, n = 164), physical activity (90.5%, n = 162), and low sodium intake (88.3%, n = 158), but not about other lifestyle-modifying messages such as caffeine reduction (46.4%, n = 83). The majority (79%) of the respondents did not know the names of the first-line hypertension medications. Fifty-one percent of respondents did not know about the blood pressure threshold for initiation of blood pressure management. About 90% of respondents had not been trained on hypertension management. More than 80% are however motivated to implement the TASSH intervention.

Conclusions: The majority of CHOs in this study were aware of lifestyle modifications such as diet modifications and increase in physical activity. However, their knowledge was limited in the blood pressure threshold for initiating treatment and in the knowledge of first-line hypertension medication, irrespective of the number of years practiced. Training on hypertension is also low. However, CHOs are motivated to control hypertension at the community level. Community-level interventions such as TASSH can leverage on their motivation to demonstrate an impact on hypertension control.

Highlights

  • The capacity of community health officers (CHOs) about lifestyle modifications was high.
  • The capacity of CHOs about blood pressure threshold for the initiation of treatment was low.
  • Training on hypertension control and management is low.
  • CHOs are motivated to control hypertension at the community level.
  • A community-level task-strengthening strategy is useful to build capacity.
How to Cite: Nyame S, Iwelunmor J, Ogedegbe G, Adjei KGA, Adjei K, Apusiga K, et al.. Capacity and Readiness for Implementing Evidence-Based Task-Strengthening Strategies for Hypertension Control in Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study. Global Heart. 2019;14(2):129–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2019.05.008
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Published on 01 Jun 2019.
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