To assess adherence to anti-hypertensive medication by pregnant women and to identify the factors associated with adherence or lack thereof.
Observational study in 100 pregnant women with either chronic hypertension or gestational hypertension who were being treated with at least one anti-hypertensive medication and attending antenatal clinics at one of two maternity hospitals. In-depth interviews were conducted with a subset of 27 women from the same group. Quotes from interview transcripts were used to illustrate the quantitative results.
BP control, self-reported adherence, complexity of medication regimen.
Participants (mean age 33 [±4.9] years; mean gestation 29 (±7) weeks) had a median blood pressure (BP) of 130/80 mmHg (IQR: 16/15). Sixty-five women had chronic hypertension, of whom 13 were diagnosed during pregnancy, before 20 weeks gestation. Thirty-five women had gestational hypertension. Ninety-two per cent of participants had sub-optimal adherence. There were no significant differences in adherence scores between participants with chronic hypertension and their counterparts. The main contributors to sub-optimal adherence were intentionally putting up with medical problems before taking any action, confusion about the medication, and making changes to the recommended medication regimen to suit lifestyle.
Nine out of ten pregnant women using anti-hypertensives self-reported some degree of suboptimal adherence, intentionally and/or unintentionally. Health professionals, including pharmacists, general practitioners and obstetricians, have a role in promoting optimal medication adherence.

Copyright © 2021 International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.