Hepatitis B Knowledge and Practices among Cambodian Americans.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, Volume 12, Issue 4, p.957-61 (2011)


2011, Center-Authored Paper, Public Health Sciences Division, September 2011


Background: Liver cancer occurs more frequently among Americans of Southeast Asian descent than any other group. This health disparity can be attributed to high rates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We examined HBV awareness, knowledge about HBV transmission, HBV testing levels, and HBV vaccination levels among Cambodian Americans. Methods: A population-based survey was conducted in metropolitan Seattle during 2010. The study sample included 667 individuals. We created a composite knowledge score (0-9) by summing the number of correct answers to survey items addressing HBV transmission. Data were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations. Results: Seventy-eight percent of the study group had heard of HBV (before it was described to them). The proportions who knew that HBV cannot be spread by eating food prepared by an infected person, can be spread during childbirth, and can be spread during sexual intercourse were only 33%, 69%, and 72%, respectively. The mean knowledge score was 5.5 (standard deviation 1.7). Fifty percent of the survey respondents had been tested and 52% had been vaccinated. HBV awareness, higher knowledge scores, and vaccination were all associated (p<0.05) with younger age, higher educational level, younger age at immigration, and greater English proficiency. Discussion: Our study findings confirm the need for Khmer language HBV programs for less acculturated and educated members of the Cambodian community. Such programs should aim to increase HBV testing rates, HBV vaccination rates among individuals who remain susceptible to infection, and levels of knowledge about routes of hepatitis B transmission.