Uptake of Task-Strengthening Strategy for Hypertension (TASSH) control within Community-Based Health Planning Services in Ghana: Study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

Kwaku Poku Asante, Juliet Iwelunmor, Kingsley Apusiga, Joyce Gyamfi, Solomon Nyame, Kezia Gladys Amaning Adjei, Angela Aifah, Kwame Adjei, Deborah Onakomaiya, William F. Chaplin, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Jacob Plange-Rhule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Physician shortage is a major barrier to hypertension (HTN) control in Ghana, with only one physician to 10,000 patients in 2015, thus limiting its capacity for HTN control at the primary care level such as the Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, where most Ghanaians receive care. A Task-Shifting Strategy for HTN control (TASSH) based on the WHO Cardiovascular (CV) Risk Package is an evidence-based strategy for mitigating provider-and systems-level barriers to optimal HTN control. Despite its effectiveness, TASSH remains untested in CHPS zones. Additionally, primary care practices in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack resources and expertise needed to coordinate multilevel system changes without assistance. The proposed study will evaluate the effectiveness of practice facilitation (PF) as a quality improvement strategy for implementing TASSH within CHPS zones in Ghana. Methods: Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework, we will evaluate, in a hybrid clinical effectiveness-implementation design, the effect of PF on the uptake of an evidence-based TASSH, among 700 adults who present to 70 CHPS zones with uncontrolled HTN. Components of the PF strategy include (a) an advisory board that provides leadership support for implementing the intervention within the CHPS zones and (b) trained task-strengthening facilitators (TSFs) who serve as practice coaches to provide training, and performance feedback to community health officers (CHOs) who will deliver TASSH at the CHPS zones. For this purpose, the TSFs are trained to identify, counsel, and refer adults with uncontrolled HTN to community health centers in Bono East Region of Ghana. Discussion: Uptake of community-based evidence-supported interventions for hypertension control in Ghana is urgently needed to address the CVD epidemic and its associated morbidity, mortality, and societal costs. Findings from this study will provide policymakers and other stakeholders the "how to do it"empirical literature on the uptake of evidence-based task-strengthening interventions for HTN control in Ghana and will serve as a model for similar action in other low, middle-income countries. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03490695. Registered on 6 April 2018. Protocol version and date: Version 1, date: 21 August, 2019.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number825
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020


  • Community-Based Health Planning Services
  • Ghana
  • Hypertension control
  • Implementation science
  • Practice facilitation
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Task strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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