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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2015, Article ID 412804, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/412804
Research Article

A Concept Mapping Study of Physicians’ Perceptions of Factors Influencing Management and Control of Hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa

1University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61872, USA
2New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
3Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA
4University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
5Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60660, USA

Received 12 August 2015; Accepted 20 September 2015

Academic Editor: Roberto Pontremoli

Copyright © 2015 Juliet Iwelunmor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hypertension, once a rare problem in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), is predicted to be a major cause of death by 2020 with mortality rates as high as 75%. However, comprehensive knowledge of provider-level factors that influence optimal management is limited. The objective of the current study was to discover physicians’ perceptions of factors influencing optimal management and control of hypertension in SSA. Twelve physicians attending the Cardiovascular Research Training (CaRT) Institute at the University of Ghana, College of Health Sciences, were invited to complete a concept mapping process that included brainstorming the factors influencing optimal management and control of hypertension in patients, sorting and organizing the factors into similar domains, and rating the importance and feasibility of efforts to address these factors. The highest ranked important and feasible factors include helping patients accept their condition and availability of adequate equipment to enable the provision of needed care. The findings suggest that patient self-efficacy and support, physician-related factors, policy factors, and economic factors are important aspects that must be addressed to achieve optimal hypertension management. Given the work demands identified by physicians, future research should investigate cost-effective strategies of shifting physician responsibilities to well-trained no-physician clinicians in order to improve hypertension management.