Compliance to hypertensive prescribing guidelines and blood pressure control in elderly patients in Namibia : findings and implications

Mashozhera, Shylet and Bamitale Kayode, Samuel and Godman, Brian and Kibuule, Dan (2021) Compliance to hypertensive prescribing guidelines and blood pressure control in elderly patients in Namibia : findings and implications. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, 12 (1). pp. 53-60. ISSN 1759-8893

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    Objective: Resources-limited countries in sub-Saharan Africa are facing a crisis of hypertensive-related morbidity, mainly due to poor blood pressure (BP) control. The study aimed to evaluate BP control and hypertensive prescribing for elderly patients in a resource-limited setting. Methods: Hospital-based survey assessing hypertensive prescribing practices among elderly patients (age, ≥60years) at a leading ambulatory care clinic in Namibia. The primary and secondary outcomes were compliance with prescribing guidelines, prescribing patterns and BP control respectively. Data were collected using patient exit interviews and a review of their prescription records. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics using SPSS v25. Key findings: Of the 189 elderly patients recruited, 69.3% were females, mean age was 70.3±8.5 years and 2.6% had HIV. 61.4% of the prescriptions complied with the prescribing guidelines in terms of treatment choice and 78.3% (n=148) had a poor BP control. 61.4% had at least one comorbidity, mainly diabetes mellitus (32.2%) or cardiac disease (20%). On average, 4.5 medicines were prescribed per patient and 4.8% were out of stock. Prevalence of non-INN prescribing was 64%. Diuretics, renin-angiotensin inhibitors were the most prescribed antihypertensive, 73.9% (n=138/189) and 51.9% (n=98/189) respectively. 90% of patients with good BP control were on ≥3 medicines compared to 77% for patients with poor BP controlled. Conclusion: Whilst compliance with prescribing guidelines is modest, the sub-optimal BP control, high prevalence of co-morbidities and over prescribing with non-INN products is discouraging. Pharmacist-led medication audits could improve hypertensive prescribing and BP control among elderly patients, and we will be following this up