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Nurs Health Sci. 2013 Jun;15(2):172-8. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12009. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Chronic hepatitis B and C: Exploring perceived stigma, disease information, and health-related quality of life.

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James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.


Research indicates that chronic hepatitis C affects people's quality of life, but such reports are scarce about hepatitis B. This Australian study explored whether perceived stigma and satisfaction with received information and care were related to health-related quality of life in people with chronic hepatitis B or C. A questionnaire was constructed comprising demographic questions and existing scales to measure the variables. The 77 participants were recruited through various online channels. The median age was 48 years, 74% had hepatitis C, 60% were female, and 73% were Caucasian. Participants with Hepatitis B reported substantially less perceived stigma than those with Hepatitis C, but there was no significant difference between the two groups in health-related quality of life. Participants with Hepatitis C reported higher satisfaction with received information. The results highlight specific aspects to consider in the care of people with chronic hepatitis. For example, people with hepatitis B do not seem to enjoy better health-related quality of life despite lower perceived stigmatization. Therefore, these patients may require other improvements in service delivery such as the provision of more culturally appropriate information and education about chronic hepatitis B.


chronic hepatitis B; chronic hepatitis C; health-related quality of life; stigmatization; viral hepatitis

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