Efficient Identification of Low-Income Asian American Women at High Risk for Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B disproportionately affects Asian Americans. Because outreach to promote testing and vaccination can be intensive and costly, we assessed the feasibility of an efficient strategy to identify Asian Americans at risk. Prior research with California’s statewide toll-free phone service where low-income women call for free cancer screening found 50% of English-and Spanish-speaking callers were willing to participate in a study on health topics other than cancer screening. The current study ascertained whether Asian Americans could be recruited. Among 200 eligible callers, 50% agreed to take part (95% confidence interval 43%–57%), a rate comparable to our previous study. Subsequent qualitative interviews revealed that receptivity to recruitment was due to trust in the phone service and women’s need for health services and information. This was a relatively low-intensity intervention in that, on average, only five minutes additional call time was required to identify women at risk and provide a brief educational message. Underserved women from diverse backgrounds may be reached in large numbers through existing communication channels.