INTRODUCTION: Hypertension is one of the world’s commonest chronic health condition and a leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide with a life-time incidence approaching 50% in many populations. It is the fourth contributor to premature death in developed countries and the seventh in developing countries. The study aimed to determine the influence of illness perception and medication beliefs on hypertension medication adherence.
METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was used on a sample of 400 respondents who had hypertension and were on medication. A pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire containing the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) and Beliefs about Medication Questionnaire (BMQ) was used to collect data. The data was analysed using statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 and statistical significance was set at < 0.05. The result was presented in tables and figures.
RESULTS: Out of 400 respondents, 115 (28.8%) had good adherence to antihypertensive medications and 91 (22.8%) had controlled blood pressure. Out of all the dimensions of BIPQ, the Concern dimension had the highest mean score (p<0.0001) while the least score was in the Personal Control dimension (p<0.0001). The BMQ subscales showed that those with good medication adherence had higher beliefs in the necessity of their medications and lower concerns about the effects of their drugs.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study showed that having good illness perception and medication beliefs was linked to good medication adherence with positive effects on blood pressure control.