Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major preventable health problem in the U.S. and the most pronounced health disparity disfavoring Asian Americans. Unfortunately, HBV patients, especially immigrants and minorities, often do not receive recommended levels of care, indicating a critical need for developing culturally appropriate and effective strategies that can be incorporated into existing clinical practice. The proposed project is a community-scientific collaboration between the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and its federally qualified health center member, International Community Health Services (ICHS) in Seattle, WA, as well as our scientific partner affiliated with the University of Washington and Virginia Mason Medical Center, and members of a community-based organization, the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington. The project will assess the impact of culturally proficient Health Information Technology (HIT) strategies for underserved Asian Americans in Seattle, WA infected with HBV. Community-based participatory approaches will be utilized to conduct a needs assessment and develop a new culturally appropriate intervention to address HBV health disparities applicable across Asian American communities. Mixed methods, including key informant interviews, focus groups, and surveys, that incorporate community participation and perspectives from underserved HBV patients, family members, and providers, will be used to assess the impact of and needs for culturally proficient HIT strategies to improve HBV outcomes for underserved Asian Americans attending a community clinic in Seattle's International j District. The results from the needs assessment will be utilized to develop a pilot intervention incorporating HIT strategies for HBV care with participation and ownership from community-based health centers and their stakeholders. Quantitative methods will be used to test the effectiveness of the culturally proficient intervention in improving HBV vaccination, screening rates, and linkages to care. This project will serve as an important model for developing culturally proficient HBV care approaches integrating health services, HIT, and enabling services (or non-clinical support services) for underserved communities in the U.S.
This project was started up by Asian hepatitis b doctors and patients at a clinic, because hepatitis b has become a big issue for Asian people. The clinic's patients, their families, and doctors will work with researchers and partners to find ways to improve hepatitis b care in the clinic and to help educate patients and their families.