Title

Hepatitis B Screening, Vaccination, and Linkage to Care: Lessons Learned from a Mississippi Vietnamese Community

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 1-1-2022

School

Health Professions

Abstract

Background: Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately impacted by chronic hepatitis B infection (CHBI). The long-term effects of untreated CHBI include cirrhosis of the liver, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver failure. Approximately two-thirds of those living with CHBI are unaware of their HBV status.

Objectives: Plan, implement, and evaluate a culturally and linguistically appropriate screening, vaccination, and linkage-to-care initiative that used Vietnamese-speaking community health workers for care navigation among Vietnamese-Americans residing in the Mississippi coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson.

Methods: The initiative employed a community-based participatory framework to plan and implement the program. An active community advisory board was established and was represetntative of all th epartners that worked together to make the initiatve a success.

Results and Lesson Learned: Before program implementation, results from focus groups indicated that the Vietnamese community had low knowledge about the risk of CHBI. Additionally, there were no Vietnamese-speaking health care providers, nor primary care providers treating CHBI in the prioritized counties. A total of 505 Vietnamese individuals were screened. One-half were immune by infection (n = 235 [46.5%]), 83 (16.4%) were immune by vaccination, 46 (9.1%) had CHBI, 130 (25.7%) were vaccine naive, and 40 (7.9%) were undetermined, (n = 130), 101 (77.7%) received the complete three-injection vaccine series. Five new primary care providers now provide treatment for those with CHBI. Cultural competency and community/medical interpreter training were also provided to reduce language barriers during medical encounters.

Conclusions: To ensure success, it is paramount that community input is not only solicited but that parnerships provide a space where the input informs all aspects of the program.

Publication Title

Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

73

Last Page

83

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