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Psychosomatics. 2010 Mar-Apr;51(2):149-56. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.51.2.149.

Significant reductions in drinking following brief alcohol treatment provided in a hepatitis C clinic.

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1
Minneapolis Hepatitis C Resource Center, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minnesota, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although the hepatitis C virus (HCV) alone increases the risk of cirrhosis, alcohol use is thought to act synergistically with HCV to significantly hasten the development of fibrosis.

OBJECTIVE:

The authors assessed the impact of brief medical counseling or integrated-care approaches to lessen or eliminate alcohol use in these vulnerable patients.

METHOD:

This retrospective study describes the effect of brief alcohol treatment delivered in a hepatitis clinic on drinking outcomes and antiviral treatment eligibility: 47 heavy-drinking chronic hepatitis C patients received a brief intervention performed by medical clinicians, with follow-up by a psychiatric nurse-specialist.

RESULTS:

At the last follow-up, 62% of patients reported >50% drinking reduction; these included 36% who achieved abstinence. Only 6% of patients were excluded from antiviral therapy.

DISCUSSION:

Brief treatment addressing heavy drinking delivered by hepatitis clinicians with psychiatric-specialist follow-up was associated with abstinence or a significant reduction in alcohol consumption in over 50% of patients.

PMID:
20332290
DOI:
10.1176/appi.psy.51.2.149
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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