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Dig Dis Sci. 2012 Jun;57(6):1439-44. doi: 10.1007/s10620-012-2142-3. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Tangible resources for preparing patients for antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.



Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infected patients with coexisting mental health and/or substance abuse issues face significant barriers to treatment and are often deferred. This paper sought to highlight critical pre-treatment strategies and provide tangible resources for HCV clinicians to facilitate preparation and successful treatment of these patients.


Guided by the clinical experience of our liver center, a large, tertiary academic medical center, and informed by the extant literature, we summarize pre-treatment strategies and specific resources and recommendations for HCV providers.


Four key pre-treatment strategies include: 1) screening for mental health/substance abuse issues using brief, reliable and validated instruments; 2) locating and establishing collaborative care with mental health and substance abuse specialists; 3) using a motivational interviewing communication style; and 4) addressing adherence-related issues.


HCV clinicians are in a unique position to prepare patients with coexisting mental health and/or substance abuse issues for antiviral therapy.

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