A fascinating study in Archives of Internal Medicine shows that barbershop based HTN outreach programs controlled HTN better in black men then MD office visits. The investigators evaluated continuous HTN monitoring and referral program conducted by barbers in motivating patients with HTN to pursue physician care. It was called the BARBER-1 Trial. So the two groups were either receiving just a pamphlet for HTN control by the barber or a BP check and suggested physician follow up. The follow up was for 10 months and goal was HTN Control rate. The intervention arm(2nd arm) did much better and absolute difference of 2.5mm HG in the SBP.
People are very loyal to their barbers and they like to see the same barber for many years. This long lasting relationship can lead to good benefits for their health and in this study, it did show that. The blood pressure was lower in the first arm as well but the second arm did even better.
So just having a lot of the health conversations in a non MD office setting might be a better target as well.
Further studies on programs like these should be performed. This is fascinating!!
Also check out a nice review by nephronline
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