Original Research

The health behaviour of black hypertensive patients at a chronic diseases clinic in a depressed socio-economic area of Johannesburg, South Africa

A. V. Stewart, C. J. Eales, K. Shepard
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 55, No 1 | a553 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v55i1.553 | © 2018 A. V. Stewart, C. J. Eales, K. Shepard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 September 2018 | Published: 28 February 1999

About the author(s)

A. V. Stewart, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
C. J. Eales,, South Africa
K. Shepard,, South Africa

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A sample of hypertensive patients and the health care practitioners at an urban community health clinic were studied to identify their health status and behaviours. Barriers to compliance with health advice were also investigated. A descriptive qualitative approach was used consisting of semi-structured interviews, observations and the analysis of patients’ records. Themes were generated from the coded data. The data revealed that the patients’ compliance was poor (66% attendance at the clinic), the mean blood pressure level was 157/99 and they were often symptomatic. Patients’ understanding of hypertension was fragmented and they did not see it as a silent, chronic disease. They were beset by financial and family worries and stresses. The staff found that it was increasingly difficult to educate the patients as the numbers of patients at the clinic were increasing.


health behaviour; compliance; understanding; barriers


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