Hepatitis B ESL education for Asian immigrants.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of community health, Volume 36, Issue 1, p.35-41 (2011)


2011, Adult, Asia, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Curriculum, Emigrants and Immigrants, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Education, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Promotion, Hepatitis B, Humans, Language, Male, Mass Screening, Public Health Sciences Division, Questionnaires


Asian communities in North America include large numbers of immigrants with limited English proficiency. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in most Asian countries and, therefore, Asian immigrant groups have high rates of chronic HBV infection. We conducted a group-randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a hepatitis B English as a second language (ESL) educational curriculum for Asian immigrants. Eighty ESL classes were randomized to experimental (hepatitis B education) or control (physical activity education) status. Students who reported they had not received a HBV test (at baseline) completed a follow-up survey 6 months after randomization. The follow-up survey assessed recent HBV testing and HBV-related knowledge. Provider reports were used to verify self-reported HBV tests. The study group included 218 students who reported they had not been tested for HBV. Follow-up surveys were completed by 180 (83%) of these students. Provider records verified HBV testing for 6% of the experimental group students and 0% of the control group students (P = 0.02). Experimental group students were significantly (P < 0.05) more likely than control group students to know that immigrants have high HBV infection rates, HBV can be spread during sexual intercourse and by sharing razors, and HBV infection can cause liver cancer. Our ESL curriculum had a meaningful impact on HBV-related knowledge and a limited impact on HBV testing levels. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of ESL curricula for other immigrant groups and other health topics, as well as other intervention approaches to increasing levels of HBV testing in Asian immigrant communities.