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This article is the author’s final published version in Digital Health, Volume 8, February 2022, Pages 1-8.

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Copyright © Hong et al.

Publication made possible in part by support from the Jefferson Open Access Fund


Objective: In United States, Asian Americans are 10 times more likely to have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection than Whites. Asian immigrants with limited English proficiency face extra barriers to HBV screening and many are unaware of the infectious status. This study aimed to evaluate a social media-based intervention to promote HBV screening and liver cancer prevention among Korean Americans (KA) with limited English proficiency.

Methods: Our community-academia partnership developed the "Lets talk about liver cancer" mHealth program by adapting a CDC media campaign. The program consisted of culturally tailored short video clips and pictorial messages and was delivered over 4 weeks to the participants via the popular Korean social media app, Kakao Talk. A total 100 KA living in greater Washington DC metropolitan were recruited via social media networks and completed this pre-post pilot study.

Results: Out of the 100 participants of KA, 56 were female, mean age was 60, and most have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years, 84% had limited English proficiency, and 21% had a family history of HBV infection or liver cancer. After 4-week intervention, 95% completed the follow-up survey. Participants reported significant improvements in HBV-related knowledge, liver cancer prevention knowledge, perceived benefits of HBV testing, perceived risks of HBV infection, injunctive norms of HBV testing, and self-efficacy of HBV testing.

Conclusions: The Kakao Talk-based liver cancer prevention program for KAs was feasible and effective. We advocate for community-academia partnership to develop and implement culturally appropriate and social media-based interventions for underserved immigrants.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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