Isha Weerasinghe, MSc
Isha.weerasinghe@nyumc.org http://bfree.med.nyu.edu
Presenter Disclosures
(1) The following personal financial relationships with
commercial interests relevant to this presen...
Mission: To serve as a national resource
and expert center on the elimination of
hepatitis B health disparities among Asia...
Boat People SOS
Mission: To assist Vietnamese refugees and immigrants
in their search for a life in liberty and dignity; b...
Issue Process
 Conveying awareness
messages to a ‘hard to reach’
population
 Conduct a needs assessment
of the Vietnames...
Hepatitis B and APIs
The Asian & Pacific Islander (API) American population
carries a disproportionate burden of hepatitis...
Survey Description
The survey was administered to 502 individuals who were:
 Of Vietnamese heritage
 Living in the Wash...
Demographics
Full-time job
57%
Unemployed
24%
Retired
19%
Employment Status
Female
63%
Male
37%
Gender
Less than
$20,000
3...
Demographics (continued)
Born Outside
of the US
96%
US
born
4%
Country of Birth
Fluently
15%
Well-Very
Well
29%
Not at all...
Hepatitis B Knowledge, by age group
18-34
14%
35-54
46%
55+
40%
HBV transmitted through
genes?
18-34
17%
35-54
47%
55+
36%...
Hepatitis B Screening
Screened
39%
Diagnosed
with hep B
23%
Not Screened
38%
Screening
Out of those
screened, 23%
were dia...
Hepatitis B Vaccination
 77% of individuals had been told to get vaccinated for
hepatitis B
 Of these individuals, 63% h...
Health Information Sources
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
Newspapers Magazines Radio
Top Sources; Those Who Speak
Vietname...
 The most trusted health source among all individuals
was physicians (80.5%)
 The most distrusted source among all indiv...
Conclusions
 The effectiveness of outreach strategies and
understanding of hepatitis B differs according to
generation su...
Next Steps
 Continuing outreach to Vietnamese community
 Partnering with other coalitions and organizations
 Working wi...
APHA presentation, 11.9.2010, Boat People SOS
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APHA presentation, 11.9.2010, Boat People SOS

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  • The organization I work with is B Free CEED and it’s one of 18 centers of excellence funded by the CDC in 2007. Our mission…

    B Free CEED is a coalition-based center and every activity is guided by CBPR.
  • The incidence of liver cancer among Vietnamese Americans is 11.3 times higher than the rate for Caucasian Americans (41.8 per 100,000)
     
    Vietnamese Americans are 13 times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from hepatitis B

    Approximately 10% of Asian Americans are infected with HBV, compared with less than 0.5% of the overall US population. If unmonitored and untreated, chronic HBV infection leads to death from liver cancer or liver failure for 1 in 4 people. This striking racial and ethnic disparity can be attributed to the fact that 67% of the AAPI population is foreign-born, immigrating from countries where HBV is prevalent.
    Effective screening programs, therefore, are critical in identifying AAPIs who are infected with HBV and referring them for treatment, and in identifying those who are unprotected so they can be vaccinated. Infected individuals must be screened so they know to seek treatment. Informing and counseling chronic HBV carriers about their infectious status can prevent further spread of this deadly disease to others.
  • Only 18% of those aged 18-34 thought that hepatitis B could be transmitted through blood.
  • Left chart: Vietnamese language sources
    Right chart: English language sources
  • Younger community participants did now know as much about hepatitis B and were not as aware of it as older community members. Younger participants did not know how hepatitis B was transmitted or were able to correctly identify the mode of transmission. Many didn’t know that Asian Americans had the highest risk and rate of infection. More participants weren’t sure if they had been tested or vaccinated.
  • Outreach: educating community about risks and causes of hepatitis B.
    Partnerships with other organizations and coalitions: to host educational events
    Expansion of the program: more locations, more intensive interventions
  • APHA presentation, 11.9.2010, Boat People SOS

    1. 1. Isha Weerasinghe, MSc Isha.weerasinghe@nyumc.org http://bfree.med.nyu.edu
    2. 2. Presenter Disclosures (1) The following personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this presentation existed during the past 12 months: Isha Weerasinghe No relationships to disclose
    3. 3. Mission: To serve as a national resource and expert center on the elimination of hepatitis B health disparities among Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (APIs), with the goal to develop, evaluate and disseminate multi-level, evidence-based best practices and activities. B Free CEED is a coalition of local and national partners. Every activity is guided by CBPR. B Free CEED
    4. 4. Boat People SOS Mission: To assist Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in their search for a life in liberty and dignity; by empowering, equipping and organizing Vietnamese American communities in their progress toward self- sufficiency.
    5. 5. Issue Process  Conveying awareness messages to a ‘hard to reach’ population  Conduct a needs assessment of the Vietnamese community  Develop more effective outreach strategies and messages by conducting a social marketing campaign Study Objective: To assess the level of HBV knowledge and awareness in the Vietnamese population in Northern Virginia to inform an educational campaign. Study Development
    6. 6. Hepatitis B and APIs The Asian & Pacific Islander (API) American population carries a disproportionate burden of hepatitis B (HBV) in the U.S. • One in 10 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are estimated to have a chronic HBV infection. • Multiple studies conducted in certain API groups indicate that they have limited knowledge about HBV and HBV screening. • The Vietnamese population has the highest incidence of liver cancer among all Asian subgroups. • Vietnamese-American men are over 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer than their White counterparts. This health disparity is attributable to high rates of hepatitis B infection.
    7. 7. Survey Description The survey was administered to 502 individuals who were:  Of Vietnamese heritage  Living in the Washington D.C. area  Over 18 years of age The survey included:  Demographics  Hepatitis B knowledge, screening, and vaccination  Sources of health information Younger population: email Older population: mass mailing and community events Administration
    8. 8. Demographics Full-time job 57% Unemployed 24% Retired 19% Employment Status Female 63% Male 37% Gender Less than $20,000 37% $20,000- $49,999 38% Greater than $50,000 25% Household Income Less than high school 16% High school 38% Some college/ technical 20% College graduate or higher 26% Education
    9. 9. Demographics (continued) Born Outside of the US 96% US born 4% Country of Birth Fluently 15% Well-Very Well 29% Not at all-Not well 56% Level of Spoken English Proficiency No health insurance 50%Private 30% Public 18% Other type of insuranc e 2% Health Insurance
    10. 10. Hepatitis B Knowledge, by age group 18-34 14% 35-54 46% 55+ 40% HBV transmitted through genes? 18-34 17% 35-54 47% 55+ 36% Hepatitis B transmitted through sharing food? 18-34 20% 35-54 46% 55+ 34% Vertical transmission? 18-34 17% 35-54 47% 55+ 36% Heard of hepatitis B?
    11. 11. Hepatitis B Screening Screened 39% Diagnosed with hep B 23% Not Screened 38% Screening Out of those screened, 23% were diagnosed with hepatitis B. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Vietnamese fluency English fluency Likelihood of Getting Screened
    12. 12. Hepatitis B Vaccination  77% of individuals had been told to get vaccinated for hepatitis B  Of these individuals, 63% had been told by their doctor, and 26% had been told by a family member  43% of individuals had been vaccinated for hepatitis B
    13. 13. Health Information Sources 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Newspapers Magazines Radio Top Sources; Those Who Speak Vietnamese Very Well or Fluently, n= 396 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Newspapers Magazines Websites Top Sources; Those Who Speak English Very Well or Fluently, n= 96
    14. 14.  The most trusted health source among all individuals was physicians (80.5%)  The most distrusted source among all individuals was friends (21%) Health Information Sources: Trust
    15. 15. Conclusions  The effectiveness of outreach strategies and understanding of hepatitis B differs according to generation surveyed.  BPSOS’ Health Awareness and Prevention Program (HAPP) has expanded to include hepatitis B as a focus in outreach and health prevention. The results of the needs assessment proved the importance of education and awareness to address the risk of disease in the Vietnamese community.
    16. 16. Next Steps  Continuing outreach to Vietnamese community  Partnering with other coalitions and organizations  Working with physicians to screen and test the Vietnamese community for hepatitis B  Securing outside funding to support a future follow-up test, expansion of the program

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