The article studies the issue of hypertension, more specifically, the rate of patient awareness, level of available treatment, and control. According to the authors, hypertension remains among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. At the same time, the data which could be used to systematically assess the health of the population depending on the country’s wealth is scarce.
As a result, most of the assumptions made on the relevance of improvement associated with hypertension are speculative, and either relies on secondary data or have no quantifiable justification at all. At the same time, the resources allocated for the interventions in both low- and middle-income countries are significant. The fact that hypertension is a preventable health issue further necessitates reliable primary data to use in health management.
The research undertaken by the authors is a cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the awareness, availability, and quality of treatment, as well as the presence of control. The results were disaggregated to highlight the differences between the low-, middle-, and high-income countries. The results showed a visible difference in awareness, treatment, and control, with low-income countries being at the low end in each measurement (Chow et al., 2013).
The gap between the level of awareness and quality of treatment in rural and urban communities was also the greatest in the low-income countries and least evident in high-income ones. Finally, a relation was established between poor education and low levels of awareness, treatment, and control in low-income countries.
The quantitative method of the study and the large sample size add to the credibility of the findings. However, the research design opens up the possibility of bias. First, the sampling was based on voluntary participation, which created an unequal representation of the population (Chow et al., 2013). Besides, while the study was aimed at determining the results based on the country, no attempt was documented by the research team to assure the degree to which the resulting sample was representative of the national average. Furthermore, the study does not present a research hypothesis, which makes the results difficult to falsify.
Given the exploratory nature of the research, this may be acceptable but needs to be properly addressed once the study is replicated by other researchers. It is also worth noting that such limitations do not present a clear slant to a specific side, and can be justified by the inappropriate conditions for a more rigorous sampling, especially in low-income countries.
The article is well constructed and clearly structured. All of the quantifiable factors are presented in a clear and exhaustive manner along with the relevant information on methodology, sampling techniques, and data processing methods. The research is consistent with requirements for evidence-based practice and does not display signs of ethical misconduct. Consequently, the basic premise behind the study is relatively simple and does not require in-depth argumentation. At the same time, the broad perspective chosen to address the issue means that the results are general enough to demand an additional inquiry.
Specifically, aside from the education, no other factors are given which are responsible for the relation between the country’s income and the quality of health assessment. Thus, a useful follow-up article would include further disaggregation of the direct causes of health care inadequacies and assign their weight before the data can be applied to practical purposes such as developing effective interventions. Finally, since the data presented in the article is consistent with the current understanding of the issue, it did not change my opinion on the importance of country-specific health management techniques and infrastructural interventions.
Chow, C. K., Teo, K. K., Rangarajan, S., Islam, S., Gupta, R., Avezum, A.,…& Kazmi, K. (2013). Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in rural and urban communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. JAMA, 310(9), 959-968.