Assessing patients' understanding of hepatitis C virus infection and its impact on their lifestyle
ABSTRACT To assess how much patients with hepatitis C virus infection know about their condition and what impact it has on their lifestyle.
A multiple-choice questionnaire was administered anonymously to 364 hepatitis C virus-infected subjects just before their first specialist visit.
Even before hepatitis C virus infection was diagnosed, 257 subjects (70.6%) already knew something about this infection. Overall, 36% of patients had changed the way they behaved within the family, 25.5% had changed their sexual habits, 46.9% had changed their diet, and 69% reported having stopped or limited their alcohol intake after being told they were hepatitis C virus positive. Hepatitis C virus infection had a negative impact on the psychological status in 44.2% of patients. This effect was significantly greater among women and was independent of either the duration of their infection or any counselling received from the general practitioner. The need for specific treatment was reported by 59.8%. A demand for more detailed information about hepatitis C virus was expressed by 89.9% of patients.
Hepatitis C virus changes all aspects of lifestyle and psychological status. The patients' strong demand for more information suggests that counselling and educational programmes must be an integral part of the activities of both the general practitioner and the specialist.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Maria Teresa Giordani, Sep 06, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C (HCV) is the predominant cause of chronic liver disease in the USA and is increasingly recognized as a common cause of liver disease in China. Studies of HCV patients in the US found major gaps in knowledge but little is known about HCV knowledge among patients in China. We conducted a survey in three cohorts of HCV patients in Ann Arbor, MI, US, and in Beijing and Hebei, China, between April and November 2012 to compare patient knowledge about HCV in the US and in urban and rural China. A total of 525 patients (US 186; Beijing 186; Hebei 153) were enrolled. Mean ages of the three cohorts ranged from 52-56 years; 63 % of US and 47 % of Chinese patients were males; 63 % of US and 39 % of Beijing patients had college or postgraduate education compared to 0.7 % in Hebei. More than half of the US and Beijing patients but only 13 % of Hebei patients had received HCV treatment. The average HCV knowledge score out of a total of 16 in the US, Beijing, and Hebei was 12.7, 11.7, and 6.4, respectively (p < 0.001). Study site, education, gender, and prior HCV treatment were independent predictors of HCV knowledge. Knowledge about HCV in the US and Beijing patients was similar and significantly better than in Hebei patients. Our data show that efforts to improve HCV knowledge are necessary for all three cohorts and should be tailored to the education level and health literacy of the patients.Hepatology International 01/2014; 9(1):58-66. DOI:10.1007/s12072-014-9559-z · 2.47 Impact Factor
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