Objectives: Poor adherence to anti-hypertensive medication severely compromises the effectiveness of treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the factors that are as-sociated with poor adherence in a sample of hypertensive patients in Nsukka, Nigeria.
Methods: The study employed a cross sectional, household survey to identify cases of hypertension in Nsukka. Adherence to antihypertensive medications was assessed on participants that have been previously detected of hypertension using patient’s self report method. Study variables found to be correlated to adherence after adjusting for confounding variables were used in the multiple linear regression. Stepwise method was used to model the effect of predictor variables on adherence.
Results: A total of seven hundred and fifty-six (756) participants were screened for hy-pertension. Prevalence of hypertension in the study population was 21.1 %. Detection of high BP among the participants with raised blood pressure was 30 %. Mean self reported adherence to hypertension medication(s) was 70.7 % ± 37.9 %. Educational status, mak-ing medication(s) a habit and experience of side effects were independently correlated to adherence. Multiple linear regression showed that for every increase in educational status, adherence increased by 12.1%. Also making medication a habit increased adher-ence by 35.1 %. However, experience of side-effect decreased adherence by 20.1%.
Conclusion: Higher educational status and forming a habit of taking medication regularly increased adherence to hypertension medications while experience of a side-effect decreased adherence to medication. These fac tors identified as correlates of self reported adherence could be used to design interventions to improve adherence to hypertension medications in Nigeria.