Background Notification of blood donors represents the commonest method of informing asymptomatic individuals of abnormal test results indicating exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Such notification is therefore important from both health and economic perspectives. This study aimed to identify predictors for non-compliance of HCV-positive blood donors with the National Blood Services recommendation to seek medical counselling.
Study Design and Methods The current research is a cross-sectional study. Telephone interviews were conducted with 201 blood donors identified as HCV positive following blood donation during 2001–2002 (40% response rate).
Results About 25% of all the notified blood donors did not seek any counselling; 29% (44/150) of those who requested medical advice from their primary care physicians (general practitoner's) were not referred to specialists. Age, alcohol consumption and non-practice of health-promoting behaviour were independent predictors of non-compliance with the blood services’ recommendation. In particular, smoking (odds ratio, 2·0; 95% confidence interval 1·0–4·2) and not undergoing professional teeth cleaning (odds ratio 2·8; 95% confidence interval 1·3–6·1) were found to be significant predictors of non-compliance.
Conclusion The study provides essential data regarding the extent and risk factors for non-compliance of HCV-positive blood donors with recommendation to seek medical advice. Our results can assist in identifying blood donors who would not seek counselling, based on demographic factors and past exposure to risk factors for HCV. Improvements in the notification process and additional training of general practitoners regarding the management of HCV disease are needed.