Barbershop blood pressure program: A quality improvement project
Black males suffer from hypertension at far greater rates than any other demographic group. Such disproportions are due to complex, multifaceted factors ranging from perceived discrimination, physician bias, lack of culturally fluent healthcare providers, and an overall distrust of medicine marred by racist medical experimentation. Targeted healthcare delivery models have been shown to results in better outcomes when compared to current, traditional models. This project capitalized on the pre-existing trust between black barbers and their black male clients. Barbers administered blood pressure screenings at time of grooming services. This intervention brought the healthcare directly to the patient in a familiar place of comfort. Over 45 days, barbers conducted blood pressure checks on a combined 456 clients. Analysis of the blood pressure checks was performed with the Mann-Whitney U test and the Chi-Square test. Variables included systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, age, previous referral for hypertension, and medications. The findings did not suggest a statistically significant difference in blood pressures amongst those screened after being notified of their elevated pressure. However, the study shed light on the problem, fostered dialogue, and prompted black men to see a healthcare provider.