Original Research

Conveying hypertension message: An investigation into the language and content used in primary health clinics in South Africa

Nokuthula G. Nkosi-Mafutha, Hester C. de Swardt, Sophie Mogotlane
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2115 | © 2020 Nokuthula G. Nkosi-Mafutha, Hester C. de Swardt, Sophie Mogotlane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 April 2019 | Published: 13 February 2020

About the author(s)

Nokuthula G. Nkosi-Mafutha, Department of Nursing Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria West, Pretoria, South Africa
Hester C. de Swardt, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Sophie Mogotlane, Department of Nursing Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria West, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Hypertension is a global health burden affecting developed and developing countries, and South Africa is no exception.

Aim: This article aims to highlight the language and content used in health education on hypertension in primary healthcare (PHC) by health promoters and in pamphlets.

Methods: The study design was quantitative descriptive. The population comprised a purposive selected sample of 12 health promoters in 12 PHC clinics and 50 pamphlets relating to health education on hypertension. An audio recorder was used to record health education provided by health promoters. Quantitative content analysis and frequency distribution was used to analyse the data.

Results: The health promoters used various South African languages mixed with English (code switching). Patients were taught about lifestyle modifications and encouraged to adhere to management therapy. The switching in language usage may affect the understanding of those who do not speak the local language and that may explain the reason for lack of hypertension-suited life modification required by health education.

Conclusion: It is important that heath education on hypertension should be standardised so that the content of health education in clinic A is similar to that in clinic B. Information contained in pamphlets should be summarised and standardised to the content presented by health promoters.


Keywords

hypertension; health education; language; health promoters; primary healthcare clinics

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