A Comparison of Enrollees Versus Non-enrollees in a Patient/Family HCV Psychoeducation Study

School of Social Work, University of Alabama, Box 870314, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487-0314, USA, .
Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (Impact Factor: 1.49). 09/2012; 20(2). DOI: 10.1007/s10880-012-9332-1
Source: PubMed


Despite the seriousness of Hepatitis C (HCV), many patients do not receive treatment. One promising means of addressing these issues for medically ill patients is through participation in support group services. This study examined individual-, treatment- and system-level factors associated with enrolling in a support group intervention (psychoeducation) for persons with HCV. A total of 235 research participants were recruited as part of a NIAAA-funded randomized clinical trial for patients with HCV and their family members, with 172 (73.2 %) agreeing to enroll in the psychoeducation trial and 63 (26.8 %) declining. Factors leading to enrollment indicated that individuals without employment, with certain personality structures (low cooperativeness and self-directedness), and traveling greater distance to their group were more likely to agree to participate. Populations being seen in public settings demonstrate a desire for additional support and education, but at the same time these potential participants are faced with challenges to following through and enrolling in the desired services.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Alcohol accelerates the course of hepatitis C (HCV) infection and liver damage. Little is known about recency of alcohol use among patients with HCV. Objectives: Alcohol consumption recency was compared among HCV patients with and without alcohol use disorders and current and lifetime alcohol use histories. Methods: Patients considering antiviral treatment for HCV (n = 309) recruited from university-affiliated and VA liver and infectious disease clinics were assessed for lifetime and current-year psychiatric disorders and alcohol-use patterns. Full diagnostic interviews, self-report surveys, medical record review, and urine screening for recent alcohol and drug use were conducted. Results: 60% used alcohol in the last year. Besides alcohol history, those who stopped using alcohol in the past year differed from those with no lifetime use only in gender (60% vs. 22%); however, patients no longer using alcohol in the last year were less likely than those still using to have a current drug use disorder (16% vs. 3%) or last-month drug use (52% vs. 30%), and had fewer current risky behaviors (1.3 vs. 0.6). Among patients with last-year alcohol use, those with past alcohol use disorders differed from those without only by higher prevalence of drug use disorder (84% vs. 47%) and drug use after HCV diagnosis (67% vs. 43%). Conclusions: Patients who had stopped using alcohol for at least a year were much like those who never used alcohol in regard to other drug use, psychiatric history, smoking, and risky behaviors. These findings indicate that HCV patients with at least a year of abstinence from alcohol, including those with a history of alcohol use disorder, should be considered HCV treatment candidates.
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