Follow-Up And Treatment Compliance Of Hypertension Patients During The COVID-19 Pandemic Period

Pinar Döner Güner, Fi̇rdevs Bedel

Keywords: Compliance scale for hypertension treatment, COVID-19 Pandemic, hypertension, follow-up of chronic diseases, primary care

The follow-up and control of hypertension(HT) patients has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, the continuity and quality of care of chronic patients is affected due to pandemic conditions and in addition complications of HT are increased.

Research questions:
The aim of the study is to determine the compliance with the treatment of HT patients who apply to primary health care services during the pandemic process and the status of their controls during the pandemic process.

The cross-sectional study was conducted on HT patients who applied to certain primary care centers in Hatay province between February 1 and April 30, 2021 for any reason. In the study, a questionnaire asking about sociodemographic and hypertension disease characteristics and the Hill-Bone Hypertension Treatment Compliance Scale (HBHTCS) were used.

There are 361 participants in the study. It was found that 50.1 %of the participants maintained their visit to the doctor at the same level before and during the pandemic, while 48.8 % of the participants increased the frequency of control. Participants who reduced the amount of smoking during the pandemic period had higher adherence to treatment (participants who increased-decreased p=0.04, those who increased-decreased p=0.01). Among the lifestyle changes, those who followed a salt-free diet (p<0.001), those who said they had both diet and exercise (p=0.001), and those who applied at least one of these options (p=0,01) had significantly lower (HBHTCS) total scores. It was observed that the (HBHTCS) medical, interview and total scores of those who regularly went to control for HT disease before the pandemic were lower (p=0.005, p<0.001,p<0.001).

Compared to the studies in the literature, the rates of adherence to treatment according to the (HBHTCS) of the participants during the pandemic period were found to be lower. More efforts are needed to increase the compliance of our physicians and patients to treatment.

Points for discussion:
How can we provide regular follow-ups of Hypertension?

How can we reduce the negative effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic on chronic disease follow-up and treatment?

What kind of facilitators can health system managers offer in the organization while providing health services to prevent disruptions in chronic disease follow-ups during the Pandemic?