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1.  Mental health in hypertension: assessing symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress on anti-hypertensive medication adherence 
Background
Patients with chronic conditions like hypertension may experience many negative emotions which increase their risk for the development of mental health disorders particularly anxiety and depression. For Ghanaian patients with hypertension, the interaction between hypertension and symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress remains largely unexplored. To fill this knowledge gap, the study sought to ascertain the prevalence and role of these negative emotions on anti-hypertensive medication adherence while taking into account patients’ belief systems.
Methods
The hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 400 hypertensive patients was conducted in two tertiary hospitals in Ghana. Data were gathered on patient’s socio-demographic characteristics, anxiety, depression and stress symptoms, spiritual beliefs, and medication adherence.
Results
Hypertensive patients experienced symptoms of anxiety (56%), stress (20%) and depression (4%). As a coping mechanism, a significant relation was observed between spiritual beliefs and anxiety (x2 = 13.352, p = 0.010), depression (x2 = 6.205, p = 0.045) and stress (x2 = 14.833, p = 0.001). Stress among patients increased their likelihood of medication non-adherence [odds ratio (OR) = 2.42 (95% CI 1.06 – 5.5), p = 0.035].
Conclusion
The study has demonstrated the need for clinicians to pay attention to negative emotions and their role in medication non-adherence. The recommendation is that attention should be directed toward the use of spirituality as a possible mechanism by which negative emotions could be managed among hypertensive patients.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-8-25
PMCID: PMC4077111  PMID: 24987456
Hypertension; Negative emotions; Medication non-adherence; Spirituality; Ghana
2.  Patterns and determinants of the use of complementary and alternative medicine: a cross-sectional study of hypertensive patients in Ghana 
Background
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread and high utilization rates are associated with people who have chronic conditions like hypertension which management requires adherence to conventional treatment. Often however, the use of alternative medicines has been linked to negative health outcomes. The purpose of the study therefore was to evaluate the pattern, determinants and the association between CAM use and the adherence behaviour of hypertensive patients in Ghana.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted using 400 hypertensive patients attending Korle-bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals in Ghana from May to July, 2012. Information was gathered on the socio-demographic characteristics of patients, CAM use, and adherence using the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS).
Results
Out of the 400 study participants, 78 (19.5%) reported using CAM with the majority (65.38%) utilizing biological based therapies. About 70% of CAM users had not disclosed their CAM use to their healthcare professionals citing fear and the lack of inquiry by these health professionals as the main reasons for non-disclosure. Males were 2.86 more likely to use CAM than females [odds ratio (OR) = 2.86 (95% CI 1.48 – 5.52), p = 0.002]. Participants who could not afford their medications had 3.85 times likelihood of CAM use than those who could afford their medicines [OR = 3.85 (1.15 – 12.5), p = 0.029]. In addition, a significant relationship between CAM use and experiences of anti-hypertensive side effects was observed, X2 = 25.378, p < 0.0001. CAM users were 2.22 times more likely to be non-adherent than participants who did not use CAM [OR = 2.22 (0.70 – 7.14), p = 0.176].
Conclusion
Hypertensive patients in Ghana have shown utilization for CAM. It is important that healthcare providers understand the patterns and determinants of CAM use among their patients. Intervention programmes can then be incorporated to enhance the desired health outcomes of patients.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-44
PMCID: PMC3936816  PMID: 24495363
Medication adherence; Traditional medicine; Non-adherence; Side effects; Medication affordability
3.  Locus of control and anti-hypertensive medication adherence in Ghana 
The Pan African Medical Journal  2014;17(Suppl 1):13.
Introduction
Medication non-adherence is a major public health problem in Ghana. Locus of control (LoC) may influence adherence to medication. In this study we examine the association between locus orientation and adherence to hypertensive medication among adult patients. We also take into account the role of medication side effects.
Methods
We conducted a hospital-based cross-sectional study involving two tertiary hospitals in southern and northern Ghana. Data were collected from 400 hypertensive patients using a structured questionnaire. We gathered information on patient’s sociodemographic characteristics, health LoC, side effects of anti-hypertensive medication and adherence to anti-hypertensive medication.
Results
Participants exhibited features of mixed LoC (both internal and external) usually referred to as bi-local expectancy. However, orientation was skewed towards external LoC. Females were marginally more likely than males to have an internal LoC. Education was associated with a greater likelihood of internal LoC. While most patients (93.3%) poorly adhered to antihypertensive medications, logistic regression model revealed that non-adherence was significantly associated with low internal LoC, medication side effects and the combined effect of medication side effects and external LoC.
Conclusion
Medication non-adherence, experiences of medication side effects and LoC are associated. Multifaceted intervention programmes highlighting personality characteristics like LoC may improve anti-hypertensive medication adherence.
doi:10.11694/pamj.supp.2014.17.1.3433
PMCID: PMC3946225  PMID: 24624246
Locus of control; personality; bi-local expectancy; medication side effects; medication non-adherence; hypertension; individualism; collectivism; culture; Ghana
4.  Spiritual and religious beliefs: do they matter in the medication adherence behaviour of hypertensive patients? 
Background
Medication non-adherence is often a predominant problem in the management of hypertension and other chronic conditions. In explaining health behaviours, social determinants like spirituality and religiosity are increasingly identified to impact health and treatment. Although a number of researchers have found spirituality and religiosity to be primary resources among persons dealing with chronic disability and illness, studies relating this specifically to medication adherence have been limited.
Methods
Our study sought to examine the interrelationship between spirituality/ religiosity and medication adherence among 400 hypertensive patients 18 years old and above. Spiritual Perspective Scale, Duke Religion Index, and the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale were used to determine spirituality, religiosity and medication adherence respectively.
Results
The majority (93.25%) of patients poorly adhered to their medications. While high spiritual and religious beliefs formed core components of the lifestyles of patients, spirituality (p = 0.018) and not religiosity (p = 0.474) related directly with medication non-adherence. Likewise, after controlling for demography and other medical co-morbidities, patients with high spirituality were 2.68 times more likely to be poorly adherent than patients who place lower emphasis on the association between spirituality and health.
Conclusion
Our study suggests that while spirituality/ religiosity was dominant among hypertensive patients, these spiritual attachments of patients with a supreme being potentially increased their trust in the expectation of divine healing instead of adhering adequately with their anti-hypertensive medications.
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-7-15
PMCID: PMC3854617  PMID: 24138844
Spirituality; Religiosity; Medication non-adherence; Co-morbidity; Ghana
5.  Patient knowledge of medicines dispensed from Ghanaian community pharmacies 
Pharmacy Practice  2013;11(2):66-70.
Background
One vital requirement for patient adherence to medicines is good patient knowledge of the medicines dispensed and this will invariably be linked to good labelling and counselling.
Objective
The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of labelling of medicines and determine patient knowledge of the administration of medicines dispensed from a community pharmacy in Ghana.
Methods
From 6th to 29th January, 2010, dispensed prescriptions of 280 clients were purposely sampled to evaluate the quality of labelling. These clients were also interviewed about their knowledge of the last medicine received immediately after dispensing. A scoring system was employed by awarding a point for each attribute written on the package and each attribute stated by the patient. The dispensing attributes noted were name, dosage, frequency, duration, quantity and route of administration.
Results
Of the 280 patients interviewed, 157 (56%) were males. Thirty one (11%) had no education and 99(35%) were secondary school graduates. Antimalarials comprised 17.9% and analgesics, 15.4% of medicines dispensed. The name, quantity, dosage, frequency, duration of therapy and route of administration were written on the label in 98%, 99%, 55%, 54%, 6% and 2% respectively of the dispensed medicines. The mean labelling score was 3.096 (SD=1.05) out of 6. The corresponding patient knowledge values were 63%, 80%, 80%, 75%, 57% and 86%. The mean knowledge score was 4.375 (SD; 1.38) out of 6. The chi square test p-value for the effect of demographic characteristics (sex, educational background, location) on patient knowledge of medicines dispensed were p=0.454; p=0.000, and p=0.138 respectively.
Conclusions
Patient knowledge of the administration of dispensed medicines was rated good; and this largely corresponded with the quality of labelling, except that the duration of therapy and route of administration was not frequently written and so labelling was rated just above average.
PMCID: PMC3798173  PMID: 24155852
Drug Labeling; Comprehension; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Pharmacies; Ghana
6.  The contribution of Ghanaian pharmacists to mental healthcare: current practice and barriers 
Background
There is scant knowledge of the involvement of developing country pharmacists in mental healthcare. The objectives of this study were: to examine the existing role of Ghanaian community and hospital pharmacists in the management of mental illness, and to determine the barriers that hinder pharmacists' involvement in mental healthcare in Ghana.
Method
A respondent self-completion questionnaire was randomly distributed to 120 superintendent community pharmacists out of an estimated 240 pharmacists in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. A purposive sampling method was utilized in selecting two public psychiatric hospital pharmacists in Accra, the capital city of Ghana for a face-to-face interview. A semi-structured interview guide was employed.
Results
A 91.7% response rate was obtained for the community pharmacists' questionnaire survey. Approximately 65% of community pharmacists were not involved in mental health provision. Of the 35% who were, 57% counseled psychiatric patients and 44% of these dispensed medicines for mental illness. Perceived barriers that hindered community pharmacists' involvement in the management of mental health included inadequate education in mental health (cited by 81% of respondents) and a low level of encounter with patients (72%). The psychiatric hospital pharmacists were mostly involved in the dispensing of medicines from the hospital pharmacy.
Conclusion
Both community and hospital pharmacists in Ghana were marginally involved in the provision of mental healthcare. The greatest barrier cited was inadequate knowledge in mental health.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-4-14
PMCID: PMC2893087  PMID: 20550668

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