Factors influencing adherence to hypertension medication: a case study of hypertension patients at (Mama Lucy Kibaki Referral hospital Embakasi Nairobi)
Medication adherence is a complex multidimensional phenomenon involving various personal, social, economic and cultural factors which are not clearly understood. It is important that health care professionals and medical sociologists understand the factors that affect compliance in their own context in order to manage the disease effectively. This study had focused on the factors influencing adherence to hypertension medication. The study relates to hypertension patients at Mama Lucy Kibaki Referral Hospital Embakasi Nairobi. This study focused on the following objectives; to assess patients’ knowledge of the hypertension disease, to determine adherence levels among patients with hypertension at Mama Lucy Kibaki Referral Hospital, to assess the patient perception on the importance of adherence to hypertension medication and to identify and assess the social cultural factors that influence adherence to hypertension medication. A case study approach was used where both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed; Random sampling was employed to identify the patients to be included in the study and purposive sampling in identification of key informants being doctors, nurses, pharmacists and record officers. The study revealed that the cost of medication is the top most factor influencing adherence to medication and that despite patients having relatively fair knowledge of hypertension disease, their lack of understanding of the seriousness of non-adherence to the medication was very low. It concluded that lack of awareness of the value and effects of adherence were major factors contributing to medication adherence. It was also revealed that the socio-cultural factors, notably religious belief and traditional medication, have very insignificant effect on adherence to medication by the patients. The study recommends that measures should be taken to subsidize the cost of medication to improve adherence and there is need for doctors to educate the patients on the severity of non-adherence to medication and mechanisms should be introduced to subsidize the cost of medication.