Psychological implications of hepatitis C virus diagnosis
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 20, Issue 11, pages 1741–1744, November 2005
How to Cite
GILL, M. L., ATIQ, M., SATTAR, S. and KHOKHAR, N. (2005), Psychological implications of hepatitis C virus diagnosis. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 20: 1741–1744. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2005.04061.x
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Accepted for publication 11 April 2005.
- Beck Anxiety Inventory;
- hepatitis C virus;
- psychological impact;
Background and Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnosis causes significant psychological stress and anxiety. We thought it would be important to illustrate the anxiety caused by HCV diagnosis in patients from the developing world.
Methods: This study was conducted at the Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, between February 2004 and April 2004. All patients who were recently diagnosed with HCV (those who tested positive to anti-HCV and HCV polymerase chain reaction) were given a questionnaire that compared stress due to HCV infection with four other variables, including death of a close family member, divorce, loss of source of income and move to another city. We also analyzed the anxiety level among these patients using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI).
Results: We studied 98 patients and 100 healthy controls. Thirty-one (31.63%) patients who were diagnosed with HCV presented only with fatigue. Sixty-three (64.28%) patients admitted that diagnosis of HCV interfered with their daily life in some way. Among the newly diagnosed cases, 48 (48.97%) patients had moderate to severe anxiety (BAI Class B and C). Multi-logistic regression analysis showed that anxiety was related to HCV-related stress (P < 0.002) and self-perceived severity of disease (P < 0.001). HCV diagnosis was significantly more stressful than divorce (59.87 vs 70.95; P < 0.013), loss of source of income (50.52 vs 70.80; P < 0.001), and a move to another city (28.32 vs 70.80; P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Diagnosis with HCV is reported to be more stressful than divorce, loss of source of income and a move to another city.