Of 900 West African-born immigrants living in New York City who were tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV), over 9% were found to have the infection (Shankar H et al. Clin Infectious Dis 62(S4):S289–s297, 2016). Community targeted group education programs (EP) have been shown to improve immigrant population’s health (Bailey E et al. J Natl Med Assoc 92(3):136–42, 2000). Our aim is to enhance HBV screening in at-risk West African immigrants through the development of a group EP as a first critical step to reducing liver cancer risk. The framework for an HBV group EP was created based on our prior work to identify barriers and facilitators for HBV screening in this community (Sriphanlop, P et al. Am J Health Behav 5(10):745–754, 2014). The framework was then refined with input from community “gatekeepers” or leaders (n = 57) through four focus groups. After refining the group EP, we then pilot tested the EP with 154 participants from eight different West African communities with a pre-/post-test HBV knowledge survey assessment to determine the impact of the group EP. Results from the pre-/post-test survey assessment demonstrated a significant increase in HBV knowledge after the EP (70% pre-test vs. 88% post-test, p value <.01). Through a community-based participatory approach, a group EP could be effective in increasing knowledge about HBV infection and HBV screening as a first step to reducing liver cancer risk.
Hepatitis B Liver cancer Group education West African-born immigrants Cancer screening
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This study was funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All participants provided IRB-approved informed consent.
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