• hypertension;
  • blood pressure;
  • compliance;
  • adherence;
  • attitude;
  • health care professionals

Levels of compliance shown by hypertensive patients and their attitude toward their illness

Aim. The aim of this paper is to describe hypertensive patients' compliance by finding out more specifically what compliance, intention, activity, responsibility and collaboration mean in the treatment of hypertensive patients. A further aim was to clarify their attitudes toward their illness.

Rationale. This study is part of a project titled `Patients' self-motivated control of hypertension.

Method. The intervention consists of a multimedia computer program and effective lifestyle counselling. Nine male and 12 female patients from one municipality were included in an intervention programme. Data were collected through thematic interviews and analysed using content analysis.

Findings. Four levels of compliance were found: subconscious, cognitive, action and attitudinal level. Patients also had four different ways of feeling about hypertension and its treatment: some were careless, some were serious, some adjusted well and yet others felt frustrated.

Conclusion. Health care professionals should recognize each patient's way of complying with his/her treatment and his/her attitude toward the illness. Different patients need different kinds of care and support. In addition health care professionals should also recognize their own attitudes toward hypertension and the patient's position in the health care system.