246230 Meaning of liver cancer and gaps in knowledge among Hmong women and men

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jennifer Kue, PhD Candidate , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Portland, OR
Sheryl Thorburn, PhD, MPH , School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Background: The Hmong in the U.S. have high rates of chronic hepatitis B and very low knowledge of liver cancer. Lack of awareness about the prevention of liver cancer may lead to late stage cancer diagnosis. In addition, little is known about the Hmong's cultural concepts of liver cancer. Objective: The objectives of this study were to explore Hmong women and men's beliefs about liver cancer and understand their knowledge about the causes and symptoms of liver cancer and experiences with the illness. Methods: We collected qualitative and quantitative data from Hmong living in Oregon. Data from 17 key informant and 83 in-depth interviews were analyzed. Results: Qualitative results show that Hmong in Oregon have very low knowledge of liver cancer. Participants commonly cited alcohol, smoking, and environmental factors as causes of liver cancer, but most participants did not know what the causes and symptoms of liver cancer were. Furthermore, participants tended to have fatalistic beliefs about liver cancer, such as it signifies death and incurable disease. Participants also discussed the experiences of family and friends who had liver cancer, and their understanding of Western medical and traditional hepatitis B and liver cancer treatment. Discussion: Results from this study highlights the need for liver cancer prevention for the Hmong. Understanding Hmong beliefs about liver cancer is important in developing culturally tailored liver cancer prevention information and programs for this population.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: (1) Identify the meaning of liver cancer for the Hmong. (2) Identify the gaps in knowledge of the causes and symptoms of liver cancer.

Keywords: Asian Americans, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because this is my dissertation and I am the Co-Investigator on the study that collected the data.
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.