1Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Room 704, Baltimore, MD 21205. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, Maryland.
3National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan.
4George Washington University, Washington, DC.
5Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Asian Americans have the highest incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the major form of primary liver cancer, of all ethnic groups in the United States. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most common cause of HCC, and as many as 1 in 10 foreign-born Asian Americans are chronically infected with HBV. We tested the effectiveness of a culturally tailored liver cancer education program for increasing screening for HBV among Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans residing in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, from November 2009 through June 2010.
We used a cluster randomized controlled trial to recruit volunteer participants from community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. We selected 877 participants by using a pretest survey. People were eligible to participate if they had not attended a hepatitis B-related education program in the past 5 years. The intervention group (n = 441) received a 30-minute educational program, and the control group (n = 436) received an educational brochure. After attending the educational program, the intervention group completed a post-education survey. Six months later, participants in both groups were followed up by telephone. Receipt of HBV screening was the outcome measure.
Approximately 79% (n = 688) of participants completed the 6-month follow-up telephone survey. Among those who had not had HBV screening at baseline (n = 446), the adjusted odds of self-reported receipt of HBV screening at the 6-month follow-up to the educational program were significantly higher for the intervention group than for the control group (odds ratio = 5.13; 95% confidence interval, 3.14-8.39; P < .001). Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans had significantly higher odds of having HBV screening in the 6-month period than Korean Americans.
Culturally tailored education programs that increase liver cancer awareness can be effective in increasing HBV screening among underserved Asian American populations.