Abstract: A Community-Based Participatory Approach to a Hepatitis B Intervention for Underserved Korean Americans

Background: 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 due to substantial access barriers. Nearly 80% of Korean Americans attend churches regularly, making churches ideal venues for promoting HBV prevention and intervention. Built on a 12-year unique and historic infrastructure of a collaborative community-academic-clinical partnership, our team of academic researchers and Korean church partners worked together using CBPR approach to develop and implement a culturally appropriate church-based Hepatitis B screening and vaccination intervention program to address HBV issues and substantial health care access barriers encountered by underserved Korean community.

Method: The CBPR HBV controlled intervention study aimed to develop a culturally and linguistically appropriate, acceptable and sustainable HBV intervention in Korean community through research methods that engage 30 Korean churches in PA and NJ. The study was guided by an integrative theoretical framework addresses both individual and healthcare system barriers through multifaceted intervention approaches. Key components include: (a) group education by trained bilingual community health educators (CHEs) and church health workers (CHWs), (b) patient navigation by CHEs and CHWs, and (c) engaging community bilingual physicians in HBV screening, vaccination and referral.

Results: The study has succeeded in its major proposed study phases and goals. The presentation will highlight up to date project progress, discuss the roles and contributions of church partners and challenges and lessons learned for how to sustain intervention programs in Korean church environment.

Conclusion: CBPR principles can facilitate HBV intervention research in Korean community by providing a framework for building trust and capacity, strengthening communication interaction and commitment in intervention development and delivery.