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Dig Liver Dis. 2000 Jun-Jul;32(5):398-405.

Reduced quality of life in patients with chronic hepatitis C: effects of interferon treatment.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Bologna, Italy.



Quality of life is an area of increasing interest in hepatology. Studies, so far, have assessed quality of life in patients with chronic virus C-related hepatitis in relation to antiviral therapy by means of generic questionnaires.


To measure quality of life in chronic hepatitis patients without cirrhosis by means of the Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire, a measure of "distress" in comparison with the Medical Outcome Survey SF-36, an index of well-being.


A series of 126 outpatients with chronic hepatitis; 37 on and 89 not on active interferon treatment.


The two questionnaires were used in random order. Clinical and laboratory data were also collected. The final score of any domain of the two questionnaires, for any individual patient, was compared to age-adjusted normal values obtained in 2 random samples of Italian population.


Patients showed a significant modification of 3 domains of Nottingham Health Profile (Energy, Social Isolation and Physical Mobility) and 6 domains of SF-36. In relation to interferon treatment, the Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire was able to detect differences in Energy, Physical Mobility and Pain, which were modified only in treated patients. SF-36 did not show any differences in relation to treatment. In addition, the Nottingham Health Profile demonstrated that treated patients had a lower prevalence of concern for family life, possibly due to expectations of treatment itself.


Active interferon treatment causes considerable distress in chronic hepatitis C patients, adding to the perceived change in health status caused by liver disease.

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