Hepatitis C virus treatment decision-making in the context of HIV co-infection: the role of medical, behavioral and mental health factors in assessing treatment readiness.
ABSTRACT Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease is among the leading causes of mortality among HIV patients, yet very few co-infected patients receive pegylated-interferon and ribavirin combination therapy, the standard of care for chronic HCV. Whereas factors related to the provider, patient and clinic setting all contribute to HCV treatment decision-making, the decision of the provider to recommend or defer treatment is perhaps the most critical determinant of whether a patient receives treatment. This paper reviews the literature related to the medical, behavioral and mental health variables that contribute to providers' assessment of treatment readiness, and associations with treatment response, adherence and retention. A greater understanding of the multilevel factors contributing to HCV treatment decision-making, as well as patient characteristics that predict treatment outcome and adherence, can inform the development of interventions aimed at improving HCV care for HIV patients.
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ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among injection drug users also infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the synergistic adverse effect of the two diseases on patients' health and survival, research on the clinical management of these patients and particularly the low uptake of HCV therapy is limited. We conducted qualitative interviews with 17 HIV providers from two urban public hospitals. We discovered that the limitations of the current state of medical knowledge, the severe side effects of HIV and HCV therapies, and the psychosocial vulnerability of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients combined with their resistance to becoming informed about HCV posed significant challenges for providers. To contend with these challenges, providers incorporated key dimensions of patient-centered medicine in their practice, such as considering their patients' psychosocial profiles and the meaning patients assign to being coinfected, and finding ways to engage their patients in a therapeutic alliance.Qualitative Health Research 08/2011; 22(1):54-66. DOI:10.1177/1049732311418248 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract This review synthesized the literature for barriers to HCV antiviral treatment in persons with HIV/HCV co-infection. Searches of PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were conducted to identify relevant articles. Articles were excluded based on the following criteria: study conducted outside of the United States, not original research, pediatric study population, experimental study design, non-HIV or non-HCV study population, and article published in a language other than English. Sixteen studies met criteria and varied widely in terms of study setting and design. Hepatic decompensation was the most commonly documented absolute/nonmodifiable medical barrier. Substance use was widely reported as a relative/modifiable medical barrier. Patient-level barriers included nonadherence to medical care, refusal of therapy, and social circumstances. Provider-level barriers included provider inexperience with antiviral treatment and/or reluctance of providers to refer patients for treatment. There are many ongoing challenges that are unique to managing this patient population effectively. Documenting and evaluating these obstacles are critical steps to managing and caring for these individuals in the future. In order to improve uptake of HCV therapy in persons with HIV/HCV co-infection, it is essential that barriers, both new and ongoing, are addressed, otherwise, treatment is of little benefit.AIDS patient care and STDs 04/2014; DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0033 · 3.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) has a significant global health burden with an estimated 2%-3% of the world's population infected, and more than 350,000 dying annually from HCV-related conditions including liver failure and liver cancer. Prisons potentially offer a relatively stable environment in which to commence treatment as they usually provide good access to health care providers, and are organised around routine and structure. Uptake of treatment of HCV, however, remains low in the community and in prisons. In this study, we explored factors affecting treatment uptake inside prisons and hypothesised that prisoners have unique issues influencing HCV treatment uptake as a consequence of their incarceration which are not experienced in other populations. We undertook a qualitative study exploring prisoners' accounts of why they refused, deferred, delayed or discontinued HCV treatment in prison. Between 2010 and 2013, 116 Australian inmates were interviewed from prisons in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. Prisoners experienced many factors similar to those which influence treatment uptake of those living with HCV infection in the community. Incarceration, however, provides different circumstances of how these factors are experienced which need to be better understood if the number of prisoners receiving treatment is to be increased. We developed a descriptive model of patient readiness and motivators for HCV treatment inside prisons and discussed how we can improve treatment uptake among prisoners. This study identified a broad and unique range of challenges to treatment of HCV in prison. Some of these are likely to be diminished by improving treatment options and improved models of health care delivery. Other barriers relate to inmate understanding of their illness and stigmatisation by other inmates and custodial staff and generally appear less amenable to change although there is potential for peer-based education to address lack of knowledge and stigma.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e87564. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087564 · 3.53 Impact Factor