Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Addict Med. 2012 Sep;6(3):233-9.

Perceived barriers to hepatitis C therapy for patients receiving opioid agonist treatment.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 7180 Highland Drive (151C-H), Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA.



To explore attitudes toward hepatitis C antiviral therapy in a real-world setting, we asked patients in opioid agonist treatment who were offered antiviral therapy about perceived barriers to initiating therapy.


We recruited patients in opioid agonist treatment who had previously been offered cost-free hepatitis C antiviral therapy in a clinical trial. We collected demographic and open-ended interview data. The semistructured interview guide included questions about attitudes toward hepatitis C therapy and barriers to initiating treatment. Each interview was audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. We used the qualitative editing method to analyze the interview transcripts.


We enrolled 19 patients who had been approached to initiate hepatitis C therapy in a clinical trial. All participants were low-income men, with one third self-identifying as racial minorities. When asked about possible barriers to treatment, multiple problems emerged, including the fear of treatment side effects, difficulties with health care providers, limited access to medical care and health information, and misperceptions about antiviral therapy.


Despite intense educational efforts, concerns over antiviral therapy, relations with providers, and access to the health care system remain critical barriers. These factors should be addressed to improve antiviral therapy rates for patients receiving opioid agonist treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk