Pretreatment preparation and management of interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C virus infection

Authors


M. Hopwood: e-mail: m.hopwood@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Title. Pretreatment preparation and management of interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C virus infection

Title. Pretreatment preparation and management of interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C virus infection

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to explore how healthcare professionals prepare patients for hepatitis C treatment and the management strategy used during this treatment.

Background.  A high proportion of patients receiving hepatitis C treatment has dose reductions or discontinues treatment because of adverse events arising from the therapeutic drugs.

Method.  An exploratory study was carried out in Australia in 2004 and 2005 using semi-structured interviews with a sample of six healthcare professionals with experience in managing hepatitis C treatment regimens.

Findings.  Participants reported that pretreatment preparation focused on information provision regarding the adverse events and the medical strategies that could ameliorate their impact. Patients’ vulnerabilities and supports were assessed prior to treatment and healthcare professionals sought to address patients’ problems as they arose during treatment. Participants discussed patients’ resilient coping style and the beneficial impact this had on treatment management.

Conclusion.  Among our sample, a deficits-based approach was taken to hepatitis C treatment management. While some attempts were made to assess patients’ strengths, these were limited to identifying those in family, work and social networks who could lend support to patients when problems occurred. Exploring patients’ past experiences of adversity and making a detailed evaluation of a range of patients’ strengths might assist clinicians in managing hepatitis C treatment regimens.

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