Introduction: Little is known regarding the impact of produce prescriptions within the context of hypertension visits at safety net clinics. We evaluated intervention effectiveness on patient usage of farmers markets and dietary change related to fruit and vegetable consumption.
Methods: Health Improvement Partnership - Cuyahoga worked with 3 clinics to integrate, implement, and evaluated a produce prescription for hypertension (PRxHTN) program. PRxHTN involves 3 monthly, nonphysician provider visits, comprising blood pressure measurement, nutrition counseling, and four $10 farmers market produce vouchers, for hypertensive adult patients screening positive for food insecurity. Dietary measures were collected at visits 1 and 3. Voucher use was tracked via farmers market redemption logs.
Results: Of the 224 participants from 3 clinics, most were middle-aged (mean age, 62 y), female (72%), and African American (97%) and had a high school education or less (62%). Eighty-six percent visited a farmers market to use their produce vouchers, with one-third reporting it was their first farmers market visit ever. Median number of farmers market visits was 2 (range: 0-6), and median number of vouchers redeemed was 8 (range: 0-12). Among the subsample with follow-up survey data (n = 137), significant improvement in fruit and vegetable consumption was observed as well as a decline in fast food consumption.
Conclusion: PRxHTN participants visited at least 1 farmers market, reported increases in provider communication related to diet, and exhibited significant changes in dietary behavior. PRxHTN can serve as a strong model for linking safety net clinics with farmers markets to promote community resource use and improve fruit and vegetable consumption among food-insecure patients with hypertension.