Are Barbershops the Cutting Edge of Healthcare Delivery? (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 6)
Bapu Jena talks with a barber and a pharmacist whose study brought healthcare to Black men in Los Angeles who were getting haircuts. They discuss its impact on high blood pressure among customers — and how unconventional approaches like this could help build trust.
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Relevant Research & References
Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:
- Eric Muhammad, barber.
- C. Adair Blyler, clinical pharmacist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
- Scott Gottlieb, the 23rd commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- “Initial Treatment with a Single Pill Containing Quadruple Combination of Quarter Doses of Blood Pressure Medicines versus Standard Dose Monotherapy in Patients with Hypertension (QUARTET): A Phase 3, Randomised, Double-Blind, Active-Controlled Trial,” by Clara K. Chow, Emily R. Atkins, Graham S. Hillis, Mark R. Nelson, Christopher M. Reid, Markus P. Schlaich, Peter Hay, Kris Rogers, Laurent Billot, Michael Burke, John Chalmers, Bruce Neal, Anushka Patel, Tim Usherwood, Ruth Webster, and Anthony Rodgers (The Lancet, 2021).
- “High Blood Pressure — Understanding the Silent Killer,” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2021).
- “The U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee: The Tuskegee Timeline,” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021).
- “New ‘Buzz’ about Fighting COVID-19 at Baltimore-Area Barbershops: LifeBridge Health Partners with Live Chair Health to Offer Coronavirus Support And Expansion of Barbershop Health Screening Program,” by Helene King (LifeBridge News Release, 2020).
- “Here’s How Black Barbershops Could Save Lives and Millions in Health Costs,” by American Heart Association News (2019).
- “Visible and Invisible Trends in Black Men’s Health: Pitfalls and Promises for Addressing Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Inequities in Health,” by Keon L. Gilbert, Rashawn Ray, Arjumand Siddiqi, Shivan Shetty, Elizabeth A. Baker, Keith Elder, and Derek M. Griffith (Annual Review of Public Health, 2019).
- “A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Blood-Pressure Reduction in Black Barbershops,” by Ronald G. Victor, Kathleen Lynch, Ning Li, Ciantel Blyler, Eric Muhammad, Joel Handler, Jeffrey Brettler, Mohamad Rashid, Brent Hsu, Davontae Foxx-Drew, Norma Moy, Anthony E. Reid, and Robert M. Elashoff (The New England Journal of Medicine, 2018).
- “Barbershop-Based Healthcare Study Lowers High Blood Pressure in African-American Men,” by Sally Stewart (Cedars-Sinai, 2018).
- “Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men,” by Marcella Alsan and Marianne Wanamaker (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2017).
- “Racial Differences in Hypertension: Implications for High Blood Pressure Management,” by Daniel T. Lackland (The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 2015).
- A Closer Look at African American Men and High Blood Pressure Control: A Review of Psychosocial Factors and Systems-Level Interventions, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010).