1. Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Social Pharmacy, Poznan University of Medical Sciences. Rokietnicka 7, 60-806 Poznan, Poland.
2. Department of Internal Diseases, Metabolic Disorders and Arterial Hypertension, Poznan University of Medical Sciences. Szamarzewskiego 84, 60-569 Poznan, Poland.
3. Department of Computer Science and Statistics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences Rokietnicka 7, 60-806 Poznan, Poland.
Introduction: Recent studies show that treatment of arterial hypertension is unsuccessful. This is due to the patients' insufficient knowledge of about the therapeutic methods and the consequences of not treating arterial hypertension.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate the patients' knowledge concerning therapeutic options, prophylaxis, and complications of arterial hypertension. The study also assessed the effect of such knowledge on hypertension treatment adherence and efficacy.
Patients and Methods: The survey included 488 patients (250 female and 238 male), aged over 18 years, diagnosed with and treated in outpatient and inpatient settings at selected healthcare institutions in Poland. A custom-made questionnaire, based on references on this subject, was the key tool in the present study. Information about the course of the disease and evaluation of hypertension treatment efficacy was based on the patients' medical records.
Results: The study found that 54.7% of the subjects had good knowledge about arterial hypertension, 40.0% had average knowledge, and 5.3% had poor knowledge. The extent of knowledge about the disease was significantly dependent on the level of education and the place of receiving medical care (p< 0.05). Good knowledge was significantly associated with controlled blood pressure, number of antihypertensive drugs used, frequency of hospitalization, as well as with medication adherence, and healthy lifestyle behaviours (p< 0.05).
Conclusions: More than half of the patients presented good knowledge but a large group still had poor knowledge, especially patients with a low level of education and with hypertension treated at a general practitioner's clinic. The results of our study clearly show that knowledge about arterial hypertension affects medication adherence and healthy lifestyle behaviours and improves hypertension treatment efficacy.
Keywords: hypertension, prevention, patient education, adherence to medical recommendations, treatment efficacy