Hepatitis B and liver cancer among three Asian American sub-groups: a focus group inquiry

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Oct;14(5):858-68. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9523-0.


Prevalence of hepatitis B among Asian Americans is higher than for any other ethnic group in the United States. Since more than 50% of liver cancer is hepatitis B related, the burden of morbidity and mortality is extremely high among Asian Americans, highlighting the need for culturally appropriate interventions. We conducted focus groups (n = 8) with a total of 58 Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese immigrants in Maryland to explore knowledge, awareness and perceived barriers toward hepatitis B screening and vaccinations. Thematic analysis uncovered generally low levels of knowledge and awareness of hepatitis B risks, screening, and vaccination; inter-generational differences; and barriers to prevention. Some differences arose across ethnic groups, particularly toward perceived orientation to preventive activities and the role of religious groups. High rates of hepatitis B infection among Asian Americans highlight the need for tailored interventions. These findings may assist policy strategists in implementing interventions that will facilitate the integration and scale-up of hepatitis B education, screening, and vaccination campaigns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans*
  • China / ethnology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hepatitis B / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis B / ethnology*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Republic of Korea / ethnology
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vietnam / ethnology
  • Young Adult


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines