The RICH LIFE Project: A cluster randomized pragmatic trial comparing the effectiveness of health system only vs. health system Plus a collaborative/stepped care intervention to reduce hypertension disparities

Am Heart J. 2020 Aug:226:94-113. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2020.05.001. Epub 2020 May 8.


Disparities in the control of hypertension and other cardiovascular disease risk factors are well-documented in the United States, even among patients seen regularly in the healthcare system. Few existing approaches explicitly address disparities in hypertension care and control. This paper describes the RICH LIFE Project (Reducing Inequities in Care of Hypertension: Lifestyle Improvement for Everyone) design.

Methods: RICH LIFE is a two-arm, cluster-randomized trial, comparing the effectiveness of enhanced standard of care, "Standard of Care Plus" (SCP), to a multi-level intervention, "Collaborative Care/Stepped Care" (CC/SC), for improving blood pressure (BP) control and patient activation and reducing disparities in BP control among 1890 adults with uncontrolled hypertension and at least one other cardiovascular disease risk factor treated at 30 primary care practices in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Fifteen practices randomized to the SCP arm receive standardized BP measurement training; race/ethnicity-specific audit and feedback of BP control rates; and quarterly webinars in management practices, quality improvement and disparities reduction. Fifteen practices in the CC/SC arm receive the SCP interventions plus implementation of the collaborative care model with stepped-care components (community health worker referrals and virtual specialist-panel consults). The primary clinical outcome is BP control (<140/90 mm Hg) at 12 months. The primary patient-reported outcome is change from baseline in self-reported patient activation at 12 months.

Discussion: This study will provide knowledge about the feasibility of leveraging existing resources in routine primary care and potential benefits of adding supportive community-facing roles to improve hypertension care and reduce disparities.

Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.govNCT02674464.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States

Associated data