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Prev Chronic Dis. 2015 Oct 15;12:E175. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.140530.

A Community Health Worker-Based Program for Elderly People With Hypertension in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study, 2013.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Technology Sydney, CB 01.13, PO Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia. Email: Dr Rahmawati is also affiliated with Pharmacology Department, Islamic University of Indonesia, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Graduate School of Health, School of Pharmacy, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and Department of Pharmacy, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



Hypertension is prevalent in the elderly, but treatment is often inadequate, particularly in developing countries. The objective of this study was to explore the role of a community-based program in supporting patients with hypertension in an Indonesian rural community.


A qualitative study comprising observation and in-depth interviews was conducted in an Integrated Health Service Post for the Elderly (IHSP-Elderly) program in Bantul district (Yogyakarta province). Eleven members of IHSP-Elderly program (ie, hypertensive patients), 3 community health workers (CHWs), and 1 district health staff member were interviewed to obtain their views about the role of the IHSP-Elderly program in hypertension management. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.


CHWs played a prominent role as the gatekeepers of health care in the rural community. In supporting hypertension management, CHWs served members of the IHSP-Elderly program by facilitating blood pressure checks and physical exercise and providing health education. Members reported various benefits, such as a healthier feeling overall, peer support, and access to affordable health care. Members felt that IHSP-Elderly program could do more to provide routine blood pressure screening and improve the process of referral to other health care services.


CHWs have the potential to liaise between rural communities and the wider health care system. Their role needs to be strengthened through targeted organizational support that aims to improve delivery of, and referral to, care. Further study is needed to identify the key factors for effective CHW-based programs in rural communities and the incorporation of these programs into the health care system.

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