Background: The greatest health disparity between Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and Caucasian Americans is the incidence of liver cancer. Liver cancer rates among AAPI males are 13 times higher in Vietnamese Americans, 8 times higher in Korean Americans and 6 times higher in Chinese Americans. Approximately 80% of liver cancer is linked with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among Asians.
Outcomes: The short-term outcome of my study is to assess knowledge and attitude toward HBV infection and liver cancer among AAPIs. The long-term outcome is to develop culturally-sensitive and group-tailored public health education for AAPIs to enhance knowledge of HBV infection and promote early liver cancer screening behavior among HBV-infected AAPIs.
Findings: I have conducted a community-based (Church-based) participatory study to develop baseline data on HBV infection and vaccination behavior. I found not only a low level of knowledge of HBV infection but also misunderstanding of the risks of HBV infection. The majority of participants rated their English level as “minimal” and knowledge of HBV infection was associated with both demographic and acculturation factors.