A Randomized Community-based Intervention Trial Comparing Faith Community Nurse Referrals to Telephone-Assisted Physician Appointments for Health Fair Participants with Elevated Blood Pressure
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-010-1326-9
To measure the effect of faith community nurse referrals versus telephone-assisted physician appointments on blood pressure control among persons with elevated blood pressure at health fairs. Randomized community-based intervention trial conducted from October 2006 to October 2007 of 100 adults who had an average blood pressure reading equal to or above a systolic of 140 mm Hg or a diastolic of 90 mm Hg obtained at a faith community nurse-led church health event. Participants were randomized to either referral to a faith community nurse or to a telephone-assisted physician appointment. The average enrollment systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 149 ± 14 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was 87 ± 11 mm Hg, 57% were uninsured and 25% were undiagnosed at the time of enrollment. The follow-up rate was 85% at 4 months. Patients in the faith community nurse referral arm had a 7 ± 15 mm Hg drop in SBP versus a 14 ± 15 mm Hg drop in the telephone-assisted physician appointment arm (p = 0.04). Twenty-seven percent of the patients in the faith community nurse referral arm had medication intensification compared to 32% in the telephone-assisted physician appointment arm (p = 0.98). Church health fairs conducted in low-income, multiethnic communities can identify many people with elevated blood pressure. Facilitating physician appointments for people with elevated blood pressure identified at health fairs confers a greater decrease in SBP than referral to a faith community nurse at four months.