Inadequate adherence to hypertension (HT) clinical standards by healthcare providers is one of the major barriers for HT management. We examined the effectiveness of four short instructional training videos on HT management.
Eighteen primary health care facilities were randomly selected using systematic sampling from five districts in the Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania. Pre-post provider knowledge assessments were conducted six months after training and provider performance was measured using patient observations on 8-10 consecutive adult patients per facility. A Screening Quality Index (SQI), comprised of ten HT screening standards, was used to measure adherence.
Pre-post knowledge scores improved significantly, for, time between blood pressure (BP) readings (28.1% to 72.7%, p=0.01), BP threshold for patients with complications (21.2% to 97.0%, p<0.001), and lifestyle/dietary counseling (from 36.4% to 97.0%, p<0.001). SQI was significantly higher following the training for all provider groups; Nurses (3.0±3.5 to 8.4±1.0, p<0.001), Assistant Medical Officers and Medical Officers (3.5±4.1 to 7.6±2.4, p<0.001), and Assistant Clinical Officers and Clinical Officers (5.4±3.8 to 8.4±2.0, p<0.001). After training, significantly higher adherence was evident for key aspects of managing patients with HT: e.g., counseling on medication (62.1% to 92.7%, p=0.002), side effects (41.4% to 56.1%, p=0.009), reducing caloric intake (69.0 % to 95.1%, p=0.003), reducing cooking salt (65.5% to 97.6%, p<0.01), increasing physical activity (55.2% to 92.7% p<0.001), stopping/reducing cigarette smoking (24.1% to 63.4%, p=0.001), and reducing alcohol consumption (24.1% to 68.3%, p<0.001). SQI was significantly associated with number of years of provider experience (more than 2 years), type of primary healthcare facility (public facility), and exposure to the training intervention.
Training with short instructional videos can improve provider competency and clinical performance for HT management. The strategy has the potential to enhance effective implementation of HT control strategies in primary care clinics in Tanzania and elsewhere.