Chinese Americans are at increased risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. To reduce or eliminate disparities in HBV-related infection rates, participation in scientific investigations of HBV risk and treatment, including biospecimen sampling, is important. However, Asian Americans have low rates of participation in biospecimen research, and little is known about how educational interventions affect knowledge and participation in HBV-related biospecimen research.
Eight Chinese community-based organizations participated in a quasi-experimental, two-group design with education assessments at pre- and post-workshop and a three-month follow-up. Four sites were randomly assigned to receive the intervention (n = 175) and four sites to receive general health education (control; n = 240).
Participant knowledge about biospecimen research increased from pre- to post-education in the intervention but not in the control condition. Of intervention participants, 83.4% (146/175) donated one tube of blood for future HBV biospecimen research, and 50.9% (89/175) donated another tube of blood for HBV testing. In contrast, only 1.1% of participants in the control condition reported donating a blood sample at follow-up assessment.
The intervention program significantly increased knowledge of and participation in HBV biospecimen research among Chinese Americans. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods featured active support by community leaders, a culturally specific curriculum, and convenient, immediate access to blood sampling, which resulted in high donation rates.
HBV-related morbidity and mortality is an urgent problem faced by Chinese Americans. CBPR provides a model for engaging communities in early detection, vaccination, and treatment that can reduce this health threat.