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J Community Health. 2013 Jun;38(3):546-53. doi: 10.1007/s10900-012-9649-6.

Evaluation of a hepatitis B lay health worker intervention for Cambodian Americans.

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Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, (M3-B232), Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Cambodian Americans have high rates of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, only about one-half of Cambodian Americans have been serologically tested for HBV. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a lay health worker (LHW) intervention on HBV testing and knowledge levels among Cambodian Americans. The study group included 250 individuals who participated in a community based survey in metropolitan Seattle and had not been tested for HBV. Experimental group participants received a LHW intervention addressing HBV and control group participants received a LHW intervention addressing physical activity. Trial participants completed a follow-up survey 6 months after randomization. Over four-fifths (82 %) of randomized individuals participated in a LHW home visit and the follow-up survey response rate was 80 %. Among participants with follow-up data, 22 % of the experimental group and 3 % of the control group reported HBV testing (p < 0.001). The experimental and control group testing difference remained significant in an intent-to-treat analysis. The experimental group was significantly more likely than the control group to know that Cambodians have higher rates of HBV infection than whites, HBV cannot be spread by eating food prepared by an infected person, HBV cannot be spread by sharing chopsticks, and HBV cannot be spread by shaking hands. Our findings indicate LHW interventions are acceptable to Cambodian Americans and can positively impact both HBV testing and knowledge levels.

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