Original Research

Hypertensive patients’ knowledge and practices on lifestyle modification in Extension 6, Middelburg

Amir Rahimi, Lushiku Nkombua
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 3| a5528 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5528 | © 2022 Amir Rahimi, Lushiku Nkombua | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 2022 | Published: 24 August 2022

About the author(s)

Amir Rahimi, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Lushiku Nkombua, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Hypertension (HTN) is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting the majority of patients worldwide, including in South Africa. The control of HTN and prevention of complications are major challenges for patients and healthcare workers. The proper control of the disease requires a multifactorial approach consisting of medical treatment, as well as lifestyle modification, with the assistance of healthcare workers. Addressing patients’ beliefs, the practice of lifestyle and acceptance of change are some of the ways of aiding control.

Methods: The researchers used a cross-sectional and descriptive survey to establish the knowledge and practices of lifestyle modifications in patients with hypertension. A validated questionnaire was adopted. A total of 250 participants from the Extension 6 Clinic in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, constituted the study population.

Results: Most of the participants had borderline high blood pressure (37.2%) or uncontrolled high blood pressure (46%). The participants’ knowledge of HTN and its complications was not adequate. The study established that increased age and long duration of HTN were associated with high numbers of uncontrolled HTN. Most of the participants (88.8%) had difficulty exercising. Also, most of the participants (90.8%) did not have a place or facility for exercises. Fifty per cent of the participants were unable to maintain a balanced healthy diet which included fruits and vegetables.

Conclusion: The study explored the participants’ knowledge and practice of lifestyle modification. The participants lacked knowledge regarding the definition of HTN and the meaning of controlled HTN. To assist the patients and improve on the identified pitfalls, each consultation session should include some methods of education, and motivation for healthy behaviours and lifestyle modification. This should be extended to all the people visiting the health facilities for them to adopt a healthier diet, greater intake of vegetables and availability of fitness facilities for the community.



hypertension; knowledge; practice; beliefs; lifestyle modification; control


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