A qualitative study of current hypertension care coordination and feasibility of involving Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) in hypertension management in Kavre district, Nepal
Background: Hypertension and related complications are major contributors to deaths and disabilities in Nepal. We aim to explore existing work flows, needs and challenges to hypertension care coordination and assess feasibility of establishing a FCHV-based hypertension management program in Kavre, Nepal.
Design: We conducted 23 in depth-interviews and one focus group discussion that consists of nine patients with hypertension, six health workers, four health officials, and 12 FCHVs 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. Delay in treatment initiation and lost to follow up were common patterns despite comply with antihypertensive medication. Underutilization of primary healthcare institutions, communication gap and lack of grass-roots level educational campaigns were identified as major health system-related barriers. Community pharmacies, monthly health camps and increasing governmental attention to NCDs were favorable for hypertension management. This study also showed FCHVs have the potential to promote hypertension educational, screening and referral in their catchments, with adequate training and proper motivation.
Conclusions: Barriers and facilitators identified in this study have implications for future hypertension management intervention design. We recommend grassroot level hypertension education and screening across the Nepal. FCHVs have the potential to take on these responsibilities, once they are empowered with appropriate training and motivated by proper incentives.
Keywords: hypertension management, barriers, facilitators, community health workers, female community health volunteers, Nepal, qualitative research
female community health volunteers
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