KNOWLEDGE OF HYPERTENSION AMONG ADULTS IN OWERRI SENATORIAL ZONE OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA.
The studsey was conducted to ascertain the knowledge of hypertension among adults in Owerri senatorial zone of Imo state, Nigeria. Eight specific objectives were formulated with eight corresponding research questions and four null-hypotheses were also postulated to guide the study. The descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was three hundred and fifty five thousand, four hundred and fifty three adults while the sample for the study consisted of four hundred and thirty two adults. A five sectioned researcher designed questionnaire was the instrument for data collection. The instrument was validated by five experts from the Department of Health and Physical Education, University of Nigeria. Split half method using Cronbach Alpha statistic was utilized to establish the internal consistency of the instrument and had a reliability index of .76. Percentages using a slightly modified version of Okafor’s (1997) of Ashur’s (1977) criteria for describing level of knowledge were utilized for answering research questions. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Student t-Test statistic were used to analyze the data obtained and testing of the hypotheses. The results of the study showed that: adults’ had high level of knowledge regarding the concept of hypertension; there was moderate level of knowledge regarding the signs and symptoms of hypertension among adults; adults’ exhibited high level of knowledge regarding risk factors of hypertension and there was high level of knowledge regarding preventive measures of hypertension. Adults aged 35- 45 and 45-55 years had high level of knowledge of the various dimensions of hypertension except that of signs and symptoms in which the level of knowledge was moderate level of knowledge according to age. Female adults’ level of knowledge was high for KCH, KRFH and KPMH while that of males were moderate for the same dimensions. Both male and female adults’ level of knowledge for KSSH was moderate. The level of knowledge for various dimensions of hypertension KCH, KRFH and KPMH was high for urban adults and moderate for KSSH while it was high for rural adults in KCH, KRFH and moderate in KPMH. Adults with no formal education had moderate level of knowledge in the various dimensions of hypertension except that of signs and symptoms in which the level of knowledge was low while adults with primary education possessed moderate level of knowledge for KCH and KRFH, and low level of knowledge for KSSH and KPMH. Furthermore, adults with secondary education possessed moderate level of knowledge while adults with tertiary education possessed high level of knowledge in the various dimensions of hypertension. There was significant difference in the level of knowledge of hypertension among adults’ according to age. However, there was significant difference in the level of knowledge of various dimensions of hypertension between male and female adults. There was significant difference on the level of knowledge of various dimensions of hypertension between urban and rural adults. There was significant difference in the level of knowledge of hypertension among adults according to level of education. Based on the findings, recommendations were made. Government and voluntary health agencies should sponsor intensive enlightenment campaign through print and electronic media in order to sustain the knowledge level of adults on hypertension and its complications.
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