Online Program

High Blood Pressure Awareness and Prevention among Adult Black Men in the Mississippi Delta Region: The Barbershop Initiative

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Jackie Hawkins, Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative, Mississippi State Department of Health, Greenwood, MS
A. Cassandra Dove, Mississippi State Department of Health, Ridgeland, MS
Issues:  High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability among African-Americans (AA) men. Research has shown that AA men regularly gather at barber shops, which can be an ideal location to conduct health outreach and education.  This initiative sought to reduce risk factors for hypertension among AA males, identify AA males at risk for hypertension, and increase the number of hypertensive AA males who have their condition under control.

 Description: Barbers in the Mississippi Delta were recruited and trained as Community Health Advocates.  Barbers were trained on how to measure blood pressure accurately and provide education and referrals to their clients. 

Lessons Learned:

Since inception, 26 barbershops in 16 counties have participated and 1,172 individual screenings were conducted from September 2012 – September 2014.  The number of screenings decreased over time because the barbers felt that project-related activities were too time consuming.  Therefore, community health workers involved in another MDHC initiative were sent to assist with blood pressure screenings at the barbershops and to bridge the gap between clinical and community initiatives.  To address barbers’ apprehension about referring clients to medical providers, they received additional training.  For project sustainability, barbers will need updated training at least annually.   

Recommendations:  Barbershops can serves as an avenue for reaching AA males with high blood pressure.  Trained barbers as community health advocates can play a crucial role in educating their clients on blood pressure awareness and prevention and link them to local healthcare providers.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the methods used to conduct blood pressure screening in barbershops. List possible challenges to implementing a barbershop hypertension screening program.

Keyword(s): African American, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been in public health for over 15 years, working on programs to prevent and control child abuse, injuries, infectious diseases, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. In my current role, I am responsible for leading community, regional, statewide efforts to combat chronic disease.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.