185207 Development of a Church-Based Small Group Intervention to Increase Hepatitis B (HBV) Screening Among Korean Americans

Monday, October 27, 2008

Alison K. Herrmann, MS , Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Beth Glenn, PhD , UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Health Services, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Los Angeles, CA
Angela M. Jo, MD, MSHS , Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Cha, BA , Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Annette E. Maxwell, DrPH , Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Roshan Bastani, PhD , Department of Health Services, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Chronic HBV causes 80-85% of liver cancer (Beasley, 1988; Blumberg, London, 1982; Chen et al., 1997), a disease Koreans are eight times more likely to develop than Caucasian Americans. Since over 60% of Korean Americans are foreign born (US Census, 2000) and chronic HBV rates among Asian immigrants are near 15% (CDC, 1991; Gjerdingen et al., 1997), programs to increase Koreans' HBV testing rates may significantly reduce the spread of HBV and liver disease.

To inform development of a culturally appropriate intervention to be administered in a randomized trial with 900 Korean Americans not tested for HBV, 6 focus groups were conducted in Korean with 60 participants recruited through Korean churches; 40 females,20 males, ages 22-75, with high school or greater education. Twenty-five participants had been tested for HBV.

Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs in the Korean community regarding HBV, HBV testing, and liver cancer were discussed. Few participants were aware of the HBV-liver cancer relationship or that, until advanced, HBV is asymptomatic. Beliefs of stress causing liver cancer and HBV being easily transmitted were predominant. A common misconception discussed was that routine blood work includes HBV testing. Reported barriers to testing included: lack of time, money, and health insurance, fear of testing positive, and feeling healthy. Overall, frustration navigating the healthcare system was expressed.

The utility of small group discussions to motivate HBV screening was confirmed. Participants were open to discussing health and expressed appreciation for information obtained. A unanimous intention to be screened was expressed by those not tested.

Learning Objectives:
State the prevalence of HBV and liver cancer in the Korean American community. Explain the potential of church-based interventions to reduce the spread of HBV and liver cancer. Describe common knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding HBV, HBV testing and liver cancer in the Korean American community. Describe prominent barriers to HBV screening in the Korean American community.

Keywords: Community Involvement, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the Project Director for the community-based randomized trial described.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.