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Br J Health Psychol. 2002 Feb;7(Pt 1):105-16.

Psychological well-being and quality of life in women with an iatrogenic hepatitis C virus infection.

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  • 1Centre for Liver Disease, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



This study documents psychological well-being, mental health and quality of life in a group of women diagnosed with an iatrogenic hepatitis C (HCV) infection and examines the relationship between HCV RNA status and adjustment to their illness.


A cross-sectional design was used.


Psychological well-being, mental health and quality of life were assessed in a consecutive clinical sample of 93 women who were anti-HCV positive (ELISA, third generation). Of these, 33 had a self-limiting HCV infection (HCV RNA negative), whereas 60 had chronic HCV infection (HCV RNA positive).


Overall, psychological well-being and mental health were diminished in all women and were best predicted by their level of social functioning, which accounted for between 42% and 57% of the variance. When comparing women with chronic HCV infection and those with a self-limiting HCV infection, no differences were detected in quality of life and no association was found between HCV RNA status and a clinical diagnosis of depression or anxiety. Furthermore, no significant differences were demonstrated in HCV RNA positive women when compared according to liver histology on all measures.


In both HCV RNA positive and HCV RNA negative women, high levels of psychological distress and impaired quality of life were found. Impairments were not related to HCV RNA status or liver histology.

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