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Perceptions, knowledge and beliefs about prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Villa Nueva, Guatemala

Authors:

Carlos Mendoza Montano ,

Guatemalan Association for the Prevention of Heart Diseases, APRECOR, 17 Calle 16-89 Zona 10, Guatemala City, GT
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Karin Estrada,

Guatemalan Association for the Prevention of Heart Diseases, APRECOR, 17 Calle 16-89 Zona 10, Guatemala City, GT
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Andrea Chávez,

Guatemalan Association for the Prevention of Heart Diseases, APRECOR, 17 Calle 16-89 Zona 10, Guatemala City, GT
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Manuel Ramírez-Zea

Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama-INCAP, Carretera Roosvelt, Guatemala City, GT
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Abstract

Background: In Guatemala, cardiovascular diseases are becoming the leading cause of mortality and disability. The rising burden of these diseases makes it imperative to formulate effective community-based interventions. The success of these interventions will depend on the felt needs of the community. Therefore, in this study we assessed perceptions, knowledge and beliefs about cardiovascular diseases in community members, health workers and policy makers from Villa Nueva, a community selected by the Ministry of Health of Guatemala as a site to develop a cardiovascular disease prevention programme. This study provides baseline information for designing and implementing the demonstration programme.

Methods: Qualitative methods (focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) were used to elicit the views of community members, health workers, and policy makers on the magnitude, impact, risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and infrastructure in Villa Nueva.

Results: Community members perceive cardiovascular diseases as a serious health problem that has increased in recent years. They consider cardiovascular diseases to be acute dramatic events of sudden onset. According to health professionals and policy makers, the adoption of Western lifestyles by the population is the most important contributor to the increase of cardiovascular diseases in Guatemala. They indicated that prevention requires education of the population, together with adequate health policies. According to most participants, the infrastructure for the management of cardiovascular diseases at the primary health care level is inadequate.

Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest strategies for context-specific formulation of the cardiovascular prevention programme.

How to Cite: Montano CM, Estrada K, Chávez A, Ramírez-Zea M. Perceptions, knowledge and beliefs about prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. Global Heart. 2008;3(1):1–9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precon.2007.09.003
Published on 01 Jan 2008.

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