Health providers’ communication skills training affects hypertension outcomes

<p><b>Objective:</b> Hypertension is a common cardiovascular risk factor within the Iranian population, and this may be improved through changes in lifestyle. We aimed at improving hypertension outcomes and health literacy skills among hypertensive patients through communication skills training targeting health providers.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> A randomized controlled trial method was used to enroll 35 health providers and 240 hypertensive patients attending community-based healthcare practices in the Mashhad, Iran. We evaluated the effects of a communication skills intervention for primary care providers compared to usual care controls, on the hypertension outcomes, patient medication adherence, and self-efficacy, assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Bivariate analysis and the regression model were used to assess whether the health provider training improved outcomes.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> Majority of participating patients were female (77.3%), less than high school education (80.3%), married (82.3%), and low income (82.3%), with mean age of 37 years. Following the educational intervention, there was a significant improvement (<i>p</i> < 0.05) in patient communication skills, self-efficacy, adherence to medication, and hypertension outcomes in the intervention compared to the control group.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> The brief communication skills training for health care providers appear to be an efficient way to improve patient–provider communication skills and hypertension outcome among patients with uncontrolled BP.</p>