major health challenge world wide..
Treatment and management of chronic diseases is a major health challenge world wide. Within the context of developing countries, self management practices for chronic diseases is an under researched area. Understanding of self management practices by patients in chronic diseases management such as hypertension will help healthcare providers more aware about their patients’ needs for better treatment outcomes.
Aims: To explore the impact of hypertension from patients’ perspective towards their daily living activities.
Method: A focus group study conducted with 19 hypertensive patients to get the insight of hypertension patients’ self management practices. The study was conducted in Sandeman Provincial Hospital at the city of Quetta, Pakistan.
Results: Analysis of the focus group discussion yielded four major themes. 1) Effect of hypertension on participants’ physical, mental and social states, 2) involvement in self management, 3) factors contributing to self management and 4) perception of participants towards antihypertensive agents. Majority of the patients admitted that they were involved in self management of hypertension but these management strategies came from social, peer or family and very little information come from the health care professionals. Exercise of self management was strongly connected to the philosophy of the patients towards drug nature and comparative advantages and disadvantages. Patients also expressed uncertainties against continuous drug usage for the management of chronic illnesses.
Conclusion: Patients suffering from chronic conditions tend to make routine decisions about their illnesses. This may include use of medications, prophylactic measures and self management. Patients seem to have more influence from peers, family members and people with past exposure, thus try to manage their condition on advises from their side. For proper implementation of self management in therapeutic plans, amalgamation of behavioral strategies to improve self-management requires a multidisciplinary team effort (physicians, pharmacists, nurses). The approach to patients should be individualized, taking into consideration their culture, economic situation, knowledge and beliefs regarding the disease and treatment, response to medication and changes in status over time.