Team approach works better to reduce blood pressure in African-American men

School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health set out to evaluate the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary team intervention program that included education, behavior modification, and free hypertension medication to control blood pressure. The team comprised a nurse practitioner, community health workers, and a physician.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both groups were given education about the benefits of controlling hypertension. One group then received a comprehensive, individualized intervention by the health care team. Nurse practitioner visits were scheduled every one to three months and all participants got free high blood pressure medication. A community health worker provided referrals to social services, including job training, and assisted with locating housing. The men in the other group received a less intensive intervention including referrals to sources of hypertension care in the community. Men in both groups received reminders of the importance of blood pressure control and were evaluated at the beginning of the intervention and at 12-, 24-, and 36-month intervals.

While men in both groups benefited from the intervention, men who received the intensive intervention had blood pressure control rates of 44 percent compared to a 17 percent control rate at the start of the study. Among the men receiving only education and referrals, blood pressure control rates increased from 21 percent to 31 percent. The overall control rate for hypertensive people nationwide is 27 percent.

Upon completion of the research, Hill's team worked with The Men's Center, a clinic in East Baltimore, to make sure the men in the study continue to have access to receiving treatment to control their blood pressure.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Center for Research Resources, both of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Ser

Contact: Ming Tai
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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