Background: Uncontrolled hypertension is a major problem among non-Hispanic black men, who are underrepresented in pharmacist intervention trials in traditional health care settings.
Methods: We enrolled a cohort of 319 black male patrons with systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or more from 52 black-owned barbershops (nontraditional health care setting) in a cluster-randomized trial in which barbershops were assigned to a pharmacist-led intervention (in which barbers encouraged meetings in barbershops with specialty-trained pharmacists who prescribed drug therapy under a collaborative practice agreement with the participants’ doctors) or to an active control approach (in which barbers encouraged lifestyle modification and doctor appointments). The primary outcome was reduction in systolic blood pressure at 6 months.
Results: At baseline, the mean systolic blood pressure was 152.8 mm Hg in the intervention group and 154.6 mm Hg in the control group. At 6 months, the mean systolic blood pressure fell by 27.0 mm Hg (to 125.8 mm Hg) in the intervention group and by 9.3 mm Hg (to 145.4 mm Hg) in the control group; the mean reduction was 21.6 mm Hg greater with the intervention (95% confidence interval, 14.7 to 28.4; P<0.001). A blood-pressure level of less than 130/80 mm Hg was achieved among 63.6% of the participants in the intervention group versus 11.7% of the participants in the control group (P<0.001). In the intervention group, the rate of cohort retention was 95%, and there were few adverse events (three cases of acute kidney injury).
Conclusions: Among black male barbershop patrons with uncontrolled hypertension, health promotion by barbers resulted in larger blood-pressure reduction when coupled with medication management in barbershops by specialty-trained pharmacists. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02321618 .).