Department of Public Health, Center for Asian Health, Temple University, USA.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and liver cancer are severe health problems among Korean Americans. Most Korean Americans are neither screened nor vaccinated against HBV owing to substantial access barriers.
The primary objective of this article is to highlight how our team of academic researchers and community partners worked together to apply a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to developing, implementing, and evaluating a culturally appropriate, church-based HBV screening and vaccination intervention program for Korean Americans.
Guided by CBPR, multiple strategies were used to form academic-community partnerships in the development and implementation of the culturally appropriate HBV intervention program in the Korean-American community. These include the formation of a community advisory board (CAB) and adoption of CBPR principles, community needs assessment, development and evaluation of the pilot intervention program, and the full-scale community controlled trial.
The pilot intervention results indicated significant increases in screening and vaccination rates in the intervention group compared with the control group. With the success of the partnership and pilot study, Korean church leaders, CAB members, and researchers are currently co-leading a full-scale intervention study to further evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention program.
The current study highlights the role and contributions of multiple partners through five phases and discusses the challenges and lessons learned for how to sustain intervention programs by emphasizing common vision, trust development, shared recognition, capacity building, long-term commitments to partnership building, and balance between science and community needs.