Abstract 16921: Improved Blood Pressure Control Among Low-Income African-American Barbershop and Hair Salon Clients: The Hair, Heart, and Health Program of Washington, DC
Introduction: African-American (AA)-owned and run barbershops/hair salons have been used in health promotion programs because of their role as trusted neighborhood institutions. Hypertension (HTN) screening in such a community setting can only be effective if those identified as hypertensive subsequently obtain appropriate care. Few barbershop screening programs have reported rates of follow-up and goal achievement.
Methods: Barbers and hair stylists were recruited from 16 shops in low-income urban areas with AA populations reporting high levels of HTN. Shop operators measured BP with an automated cuff and provided treatment referrals to local providers using a written algorithm. The shops provided patrons with access to written materials and videos about diet, exercise, and medications. Other shop activities included cooking demonstrations, walking groups, local newsletters, and lectures.
Results: During an 18-month period, 807 (53% female) clients were screened. Almost half (49%) were ages 18-45 yrs; 95 participants had a total of 179 follow-up BP measures (minimum = 1, maximum = 9). Of those with follow-up measures, 36 participants (38%) had hypertension at baseline. Of these, 18 (50%) were no longer hypertensive at their last follow-up visit.
Conclusion: It is possible to obtain follow-up BP measures in minority, low-income barbershops and hair salons. Half of the clients with HTN at baseline who returned to the shop had brought their BP under control. The Hair, Heart, and Health program has led to BP reductions in this challenging population. More research is needed to elucidate the main factors contributing to BP reductions and methods to improve retention.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.