Integrating knowledge across domains to advance the science of health behavior: overcoming challenges and facilitating success.
The effectiveness of community-based participatory research (CBPR) efforts to address the disproportionate burden of hypertension among African Americans remains largely untested. The objective of this 6-month, noncontrolled, pre-/post-experimental intervention was to examine the effectiveness of a CBPR intervention in achieving improvements in blood pressure, anthropometric measures, biological measures, and diet. Conducted in 2010, this multicomponent lifestyle intervention included motivational enhancement, social support provided by peer coaches, pedometer diary self-monitoring, and monthly nutrition and physical activity education sessions. Of 269 enrolled participants, 94% were African American and 85% were female. Statistical analysis included generalized linear mixed models using maximum likelihood estimation. From baseline to 6 months, blood pressure decreased significantly: mean (± standard deviation) systolic blood pressure decreased from 126.0 ± 19.1 to 119.6 ± 15.8 mm Hg, P=0.0002; mean diastolic blood pressure decreased from 83.2 ± 12.3 to 78.6 ± 11.1 mm Hg, P<0.0001). Sugar intake also decreased significantly as compared with baseline (by approximately 3 tsp; P<0.0001). Time differences were not apparent for any other measures. Results from this study suggest that CBPR efforts are a viable and effective strategy for implementing nonpharmacologic, multicomponent, lifestyle interventions that can help address the persistent racial and ethnic disparities in hypertension treatment and control. Outcome findings help fill gaps in the literature for effectively translating lifestyle interventions to reach and engage African-American communities to reduce the burden of hypertension.