Saving Black Men at the Barbershop
I came across a great article today which found that “After an eight-month, barbershop-based intervention, men with high blood pressure were much more likely to start receiving treatment and to get their blood pressure under control than their peers given standard care, Dr. Paul L. Hess of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and colleagues found.”
I pumped both my fists in the air when I read this article because “the potential public health impact of this community-based research is high, with thousands of black-owned barbershops nationwide.”
The numbers speak for themselves. At the end of the study, “the percentage of men in the enhanced intervention group who were getting treatment for their hypertension rose from 47% to 92%, while the percentage of those with their blood pressure under control increased from 19% to 58%.
Together we need to put pressure that the government and private foundations to put money behind this initiative to expand it across the United States. Can my public health folks provide information as to who the targets should be?
It’s so genius because it is so simple. Whether you are running for President or running from the authorities, barbershops are sanctuaries for Black men. Do you need proof? The article highlights that “while black churches have been used as outreach and blood pressure screening sites, Hess and his team state, ‘regular church attendance is much less common among black men and women.’” That issue is for another post.
Nevertheless, Hess and his team demonstrated that barbers themselves could be trained to deliver the intervention effectively. It makes sense to trust someone with a needle that you can trust with a blade on your face. It’s time to start thinking outside the box. I will keep you posted on any developments related to this study.
Stay up fam,