Hypertension Care Coordination and Feasibility of Involving Female Community Health Volunteers in Hypertension Management in Kavre District, Nepal: A Qualitative Study.
(Journal Article;Multicenter Study)
Background: Hypertension and related complications are major contributors to morbidity and mortality in Nepal. Community health workers have been proposed as promising health cadres to meet the growing healthcare demand for non-communicable disease management in other developing countries. Objective: We aimed to explore existing workflows, needs and challenges for hypertension care coordination and to assess the feasibility of establishing a Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV)-based hypertension management program in Kavre, Nepal. Design: We conducted one focus group discussion with eight FCHVs and twenty-three in-depth interviews with four FCHVs not attending FGD, nine individuals with hypertension, six health workers, and four health officials in two village development committees of Kavre District, Nepal. Applied thematic analysis was performed using NVivo 12. Results: Health literacy related to hypertension was low among both community members and FCHVs. Delay in treatment initiation and loss to follow-up were common patterns despite anti-hypertensive medication compliance. Major health system-related barriers included underutilization of primary healthcare institutions, communication gaps and lack of grass-roots level educational campaigns. Community pharmacies, monthly health camps and increasing governmental attention to NCDs were favorable for improving hypertension management. This study also supports that FCHVs should be provided with adequate training and financial incentives to promote hypertension education, screening and referral in their catchments. Conclusions: Barriers and facilitators identified in this study provide important implications for future hypertension management in Nepal. We recommend hypertension education and screening across Nepal at a grass-root level through FCHVs. Providing professional training and proper financial incentives for FCHVs are warranted. Highlights: Health literacy related to hypertension was low among both community members and Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal.Delay in treatment initiation and loss to follow-up were common despite relatively high anti-hypertensive medication compliance.Health system-related barriers in research sites included underutilization of primary healthcare institutions, communication gaps, and lack of grass-roots level educational campaigns.Female Community Health Volunteers should be provided with adequate training and financial incentives to promote hypertension management.
Tan, J; Xu, H; Fan, Q; Neely, O; Doma, R; Gundi, R; Shrestha, B; Shrestha, A; Shrestha, S; Karmacharya, B; Gu, W; Østbye, T; Yan, LL
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