Background: Assessing the practice capacity for hypertension management and control within community-based health planning and services system is an important step toward implementing evidence-based interventions to reduce uncontrolled hypertension at the community level. Objectives: To assess the capacity and readiness of community health workers to implement a task-strengthening strategy for hypertension control (TASSH) at the community level. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research conducted among community health workers in 6 contiguous districts within the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. Study variables were described using frequency tables. Results: A total of 179 community health officers (CHOs) were interviewed. The majority of respondents knew lifestyle-related messages to be provided to their clients such as heart-healthy diets (91.6%, n = 164), physical activity (90.5%, n = 162), and low sodium intake (88.3%, n = 158), but not about other lifestyle-modifying messages such as caffeine reduction (46.4%, n = 83). The majority (79%) of the respondents did not know the names of the first-line hypertension medications. Fifty-one percent of respondents did not know about the blood pressure threshold for initiation of blood pressure management. About 90% of respondents had not been trained on hypertension management. More than 80% are however motivated to implement the TASSH intervention. Conclusions: The majority of CHOs in this study were aware of lifestyle modifications such as diet modifications and increase in physical activity. However, their knowledge was limited in the blood pressure threshold for initiating treatment and in the knowledge of first-line hypertension medication, irrespective of the number of years practiced. Training on hypertension is also low. However, CHOs are motivated to control hypertension at the community level. Community-level interventions such as TASSH can leverage on their motivation to demonstrate an impact on hypertension control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Community and Home Care
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine