Health Within Reach-a Patient-Centered Intervention to Increase Hepatitis B Screening Among Asian Americans: a Randomized Clinical Trial

J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Oct;37(13):3242-3250. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07232-3. Epub 2022 Jan 6.


Background: There are few studies to date of interventions to increase viral hepatitis screening among Asian Americans, who have high rates of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection.

Objective: To develop, implement, and test the efficacy of a mobile application (Hepatitis App) delivered in four languages to increase HBV screening among Asian Americans.

Design: Cluster-randomized clinical trial.

Participants: Four hundred fifty-two Asian American patients ≥ 18 years of age, who had no prior HBV testing, and received primary care within two healthcare systems in San Francisco, CA.

Interventions: The intervention group received the Hepatitis App, delivering interactive video education on viral hepatitis in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Vietnamese and a provider printout (Provider Alert) and Provider Panel Notification. The comparison group received a mobile application delivering nutrition and physical activity education and Provider Panel Notification.

Main measures: Primary outcomes were patient-provider discussion about HBV and documentation of a HBV screening test within 3 months post-intervention. Secondary outcome was documentation of an order for a HBV screening test.

Key results: Participants had a mean age of 57 years and were 64% female, 80% foreign-born, and 44% with limited English fluency. At post-visit, over 80% of intervention participants reported they liked using the Hepatitis App. At 3-month follow-up, the intervention group was more likely than the comparison group (all P < 0.001) to have discussed HBV with their provider (70% vs.16%), have a HBV test ordered (44% vs.10%), and receive a HBV test (38% vs.8%). In multivariable analyses, the intervention odds ratio for HBV test ordering was 7.6 (95% CI: 3.9, 14.8) and test receipt was 7.5 (95% CI: 3.6, 15.5).

Conclusions: A multi-lingual educational intervention using a mobile application in primary care clinics was well received by Asian American patients, enhanced patient-provider communication about HBV, and increased HBV screening. Technology can improve healthcare quality among Asian Americans.

Trial registration: NCT02139722 ( ).

Keywords: Healthcare disparities; Language; Mobile technology; Primary care; Viral hepatitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis B* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient-Centered Care

Associated data