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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2017

Determinants of uptake of hepatitis B testing and healthcare access by migrant Chinese in the England: a qualitative study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Andrew Chee Keng Lee, Alicia Vedio, Eva Zhi Hong Liu, Jason Horsley, Amrita Jesurasa, Sarah Salway
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.​1186/​s12889-017-4796-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Background

Global migration from hepatitis B endemic countries poses a significant public health challenge in receiving low-prevalence countries. In the UK, Chinese migrants are a high risk group for hepatitis B. However, they are an underserved population that infrequently accesses healthcare. This study sought to increase understanding of the determinants of hepatitis B testing and healthcare access among migrants of Chinese ethnicity living in England.

Methods

We sought to obtain and integrate insights from different key stakeholders in the system. We conducted six focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews with community members and patients identifying themselves as ‘Chinese’, and interviewed 21 clinicians and nine health service commissioners. Data were thematically analysed and findings were corroborated through two validation workshops.

Results

Three thematic categories emerged: knowledge and awareness, visibility of the disease, and health service issues. Low disease knowledge and awareness levels among community members contributed to erroneous personal risk perception and suboptimal engagement with services. Limited clinician knowledge led to missed opportunities to test and inaccurate assessments of infection risks in Chinese patients. There was little social discourse and considerable stigma linked to the disease among some sub-sections of the Chinese population. A lack of visibility of the issue and the population within the health system meant that these health needs were not prioritised by clinicians or commissioners. Service accessibility was also affected by the lack of language support. Greater use of community outreach, consultation aids, ‘cultural competency’ training, and locally adapted testing protocols may help.

Conclusions

Hepatitis B among migrants of Chinese ethnicity in England can be characterised as an invisible disease in an invisible population. Multi-modal solutions are needed to tackle barriers within this population and the health system.
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