Effect of Lifestyle Coaching or Enhanced Pharmacotherapy on Blood Pressure Control Among Black Adults With Persistent Uncontrolled Hypertension: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 May 2;5(5):e2212397. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.12397.


Importance: Greater difficulty in controlling blood pressure (BP) and adverse lifestyle practices such as higher salt intake or less physical activity may account for some of the differences between BP control rates in Black vs White adults, thereby exposing Black adults to a higher risk of vascular events.

Objective: To determine whether a lifestyle coaching intervention or an enhanced pharmacotherapy protocol is more effective than usual care in improving BP control rates in Black adults treated within an integrated health care delivery system.

Design, setting, and participants: Shake, Rattle & Roll, a cluster randomized clinical trial, was conducted from June 5, 2013, to June 11, 2018, in a large integrated health care delivery system. Enrollment was completed during a 12-month period and interventions were implemented for 12 months. Follow-up lasted 48 months after enrollment. Panels of Black adult members of the health care delivery system with BP of at least 140/90 mm Hg from 98 adult primary care physicians were randomly assigned at the primary care physician level to usual care (UC group [n = 1129]), enhanced pharmacotherapy monitoring (EP group [n = 346]) of current BP management protocol, or diet and lifestyle coaching consisting of photographs, stories, and recipes, for example, that are appropriate for Black adults (LC group [n = 286]) focused on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Data were analyzed from June 1, 2016, to March 25, 2022.

Interventions: The UC group received care per customary protocol. The EP group was contacted by a research nurse and/or a clinical pharmacist to discuss barriers to hypertension control, and drug therapy emphasized the use of thiazide diuretic intensification and addition of spironolactone as needed. The LC group received as many as 16 telephone sessions with a lifestyle coach and an emphasis on implementing reduction of sodium intake and the DASH diet.

Main outcomes and measures: Intention-to-treat analysis of BP control rates at end of the 12-month intervention.

Results: Among the 1761 participants, the mean (SD) age was 61 (13) years, and 1214 (68.9%) were women. At the end of the 12-month intervention period, there was no significant difference in BP control rate among study groups (UC, 61.8% [95% CI, 58.8%-64.9%]; EP, 64.5% [95% CI, 59.0%-69.4%]; LC, 67.8% [95% CI, 62.1%-73.2%]; LC vs EP, P = .07). However, greater BP control was present in the LC group vs UC at 24 months (UC, 61.2% [95% CI, 57.3%-64.7%]; EP, 67.6% [95% CI, 61.9%-72.8%]; LC, 72.4% [95% CI, 66.9%-78.1%]; LC vs UC, P = .001), and 48 months (UC, 64.5% [95% CI, 61.6%-67.2%]; EP, 66.5% [95% CI, 61.3%-71.3%]; LC, 73.1% [95% CI, 67.6%-77.9%]; LC vs UC, P = .006) after enrollment. The contribution of BP medication adherence to explain group differences was inconclusive.

Conclusions and relevance: In this cluster randomized clinical trial including Black adults with persistent uncontrolled hypertension, a 12-month LC intervention was more effective at controlling BP than UC at 24 and 48 months after enrollment. Further research is needed to explore the potential implementation of this intervention into clinical practice.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01892592.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mentoring*
  • Middle Aged

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01892592