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Abstract

THE ROLE OF PHARMACISTS IN HYPERTENSION MANAGEMENT

R. C. Jagessar*, A. Ali, K. Agard, D. McGowan and L. Perry

ABSTRACT

Hypertension a risk factor for heart diseases which are the causes of death, has gained both regional and national attention over the years. This problem developed from poor dietary practices, stressful lifestyles, inactivity and poor health management. The objective of this study is to investigate the perceptions many patients have about a Pharmacist and also to educate or re-educate the health care team and patients of the role pharmacists play in the management of hypertension in Guyana. The sample population covers persons of different socio-demographic backgrounds that usually visit either the community pharmacies or are a part of the public hospital clinics. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in the three most populated Regions of Guyana: Region 4, Region 6 and Region 10. A total of one hundred and fifty (150) hypertensive patients were selected and ten (10) interviews in person were conducted over a four weeks period with ten (10) Pharmacists. Fifty (50) were between the age range 51-60, Forty (40) were between the age range 21-30, Thirty (30) were between the age range 61-70, Fifteen (15) were between the age range 41-50, Ten (10) were older than 70 and Five (5) were between the age range 31-40. Sixty (60) of the respondents were males and ninety (90) of the respondents were females. Sixty (60) of the respondents were of African descent, Thirty Five (35) were mixed individuals and Fifty Five (55) were of East Indian descent. Results were statistically analysed for mean, standard deviation (SD), significance difference within and between groups. Some of the interviews were favourable, whilst others were unfavourable. For example, in response to the questions, “What perceptions do Guyanese have on the general role of the Pharmacist and the role of the Pharmacist in hypertension management ? ”, 35% of the participants believe that the Pharmacy is mainly a business, while 65% believe it to be an Health Care Facility with regards to hypertension management. “Are there any non-traditional therapies for hypertension being used in Guyana currently ? “ 45% were in favour whilst 55% disagree. “Is the diet the biggest contributing factor that causes hypertension ?”, 70% were in favour whilst 30% were not in favour, “Can access to patient summary record helps Pharmacists to better promote better drug therapy ? ”, 90 % of the Pharmacists were in favour whilst 10% disagree. “What are the current procedures for community and clinical pharmacists in dealing with hypertension cases?“. All Pharmacists (100%) agreed that the patient‟s current blood pressure must first be interpreted. Participants have benefitted from the survey, designed to educate and re-educate persons on the role of the pharmacist in hypertension management. It‟s anticipated that they would make wiser alternative diet and lifestyle choices as well as being able to take full advantage of the services and assistance of the pharmacists.

Keywords: Hypertension, hypertension management, patients, pharmacists, regions, socio-demographic.


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