Acceptability of patient-centered hypertension education delivered by community health workers among people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda

Charles Batte, John Mukisa, Natalie Rykiel, David Mukunya, William Checkley, Felix Knauf, Robert Kalyesubula, Trishul Siddharthan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of hypertension is increasing among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, knowledge of the complications and management of hypertension among PLWHA in Uganda remains low. We explored the acceptability of implementing hypertension (HTN) specific health education by community health workers (CHWs) among PLWHA in rural Uganda. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study consisting of 22 in-depth interviews (14 PLWHA/HTN and 8 CHWs), 3 focus group discussions (FGDs), 2 with PLWHA/HTN and 1 with CHWs from Nakaseke district, Uganda. Participants were interviewed after a single session interaction with the CHW. Data were transcribed from luganda (local language) into English and analyzed using thematic analysis. We used Sekhon’s model of acceptability of health Interventions to explore participants’ perceptions. Results: Participants believed CHWs utilized easy-to-understand, colloquial, non-technical language during education delivery, had a pre-existing rapport with the CHWs that aided faster communication, and had more time to explain illness than medical doctors had. Participants found the educational material (PocketDoktor™) to be simple and easy to understand, and perceived that the education would lead to improved health outcomes. Participants stated their health was a priority and sought further disease-specific information. We also found that CHWs were highly motivated to carry out the patient-centered education. While delivering the education, CHWs experienced difficulties in keeping up with the technical details regarding hypertension in the PocketDoktor™, financial stress and patient questions beyond their self-perceived skill level and experience. PLWHA/HTN had challenges accessing the health facility where the intervention was delivered and preferred a household setting. Conclusions: Hypertension patient-centered education delivered by CHWs using the PocketDoktor™ was acceptable to PLWHA and hypertension in Nakaseke area in rural, Uganda. There is need for further studies to determine the cost implications of delivering this intervention among PLWHA across LMIC settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1343
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Acceptability
  • Hypertension
  • Patient education
  • PocketDoktor™

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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