Background: Effectiveness of combined physician and patient-level interventions for blood pressure (BP) control in low-income, hypertensive African Americans with multiple co-morbid conditions remains largely untested in community-based primary care practices. Demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral characteristics of participants in the Counseling African American to Control Hypertension (CAATCH) Trial are described. CAATCH evaluates the effectiveness of a multi-level, multi-component, evidence-based intervention compared with usual care (UC) in improving BP control among poorly controlled hypertensive African Americans who receive primary care in Community Health Centers (CHCs).Methods: Participants included 1,039 hypertensive African Americans receiving care in 30 CHCs in the New York Metropolitan area. Baseline data on participant demographic, clinical (e.g., BP, anti-hypertensive medications), psychosocial (e.g., depression, medication adherence, self-efficacy), and behavioral (e.g., exercise, diet) characteristics were gathered through direct observation, chart review, and interview.Results: The sample was primarily female (71.6%), middle-aged (mean age = 56.9 ± 12.1 years), high school educated (62.4%), low-income (72.4% reporting less than $20,000/year income), and received Medicaid (35.9%) or Medicare (12.6%). Mean systolic and diastolic BP were 150.7 ± 16.7 mm Hg and 91.0 ± 10.6 mm Hg, respectively. Participants were prescribed an average of 2.5 ± 1.9 antihypertensive medications; 54.8% were on a diuretic; 33.8% were on a beta blocker; 41.9% were on calcium channel blockers; 64.8% were on angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). One-quarter (25.6%) of the sample had resistant hypertension; one-half (55.7%) reported medication non-adherence. Most (79.7%) reported one or more co-morbid medical conditions. The majority of the patients had a Charlson Co-morbidity score ≥ 2. Diabetes mellitus was common (35.8%), and moderate/severe depression was present in 16% of participants. Participants were sedentary (835.3 ± 1,644.2 Kcal burned per week), obese (59.7%), and had poor global physical health, poor eating habits, high health literacy, and good overall mental health.Conclusions: A majority of patients in the CAATCH trial exhibited adverse lifestyle behaviors, and had significant medical and psychosocial barriers to adequate BP control. Trial outcomes will shed light on the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions for BP control when implemented in real-world medical settings that serve high numbers of low-income hypertensive African-Americans with multiple co-morbidity and significant barriers to behavior change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health