Original Research

Nurses`knowledge of and attitude towards exercise as a treatment method for hypertensive patients

L. Grobler, L. Roets
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 61, No 2 | a173 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v61i2.173 | © 2005 L. Grobler, L. Roets | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2005 | Published: 09 January 2005

About the author(s)

L. Grobler, School of Nursing, University of the Free State, South Africa
L. Roets,, South Africa

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Abstract

Aerobic exercise is used in treating hypertension. Eventhough physiotherapists are the first choice in presenting exercise treatment, few are available to do so in primary health clinics. Nurses arepatients’ first contact and may be able to fulfil this role. Nurses’knowledge and attitude towards exercise as a treatment method for hypertensive patients was determined. This descriptive study included all nurses (n=67) working in 23 Bloemfontein clinics. Forty-three nursescompleted structured questionnaires that determined their knowledge of exercise as a treatment method. All nurses prescribed medication forhypertensive patients. Most nurses prescribed weight control (72.1%), diet control (76.7%), patient education (74.4%), and life-style modification (72.1%). Most (83.7%) nurses were aware of exercise as a treatment method for hypertension. Only seven nurses, prescribing a brisk walk, recommended the correct type of exercise. The nurses’attitude towards exercise as a treatment method was determined using focus group interviews (n=16). Nurses reflected a positive attitude towards exercise with 198 positive responses. Nurses could express more than one opinion, all of which were recorded. Twenty responses reflected little or no knowledge, and four responses reflected an unsure/neutral attitude towards exercise. Ten responses reflected disinterest in prescribing exercise. Nurses do not have adequate knowledge to enable them to confidently prescribe exercise to patients. The need for more information was mentioned and some nurses were willing to present exercise classes. A training program, containing pertinent information, so that nurses can prescribe exercise for hypertension, needs to be developed.


Keywords

hypertension; exercise; nurses’knowledge and attitude

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