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Hepatology. 2017 Mar;65(3):875-884. doi: 10.1002/hep.28770. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

Patient-reported barriers are associated with lower hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance rates in patients with cirrhosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health Hospital System, Dallas, TX.
Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
Department of Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
Department of Surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.


Over 20% of patients with cirrhosis are nonadherent with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance recommendations; however, few studies have evaluated the impact of patient-level factors on surveillance receipt. We characterized the association between HCC surveillance receipt and patient knowledge, attitudes, and perceived barriers in a racially diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged cohort of patients with cirrhosis. Patients with cirrhosis followed at a large urban hospital were invited to complete a survey about HCC surveillance between August 2014 and December 2015. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with HCC surveillance receipt during the 12-month period preceding and 6-month period after survey administration. We achieved a response rate of 71.8% (n = 541 of 753). Patients demonstrated high levels of HCC-related knowledge (summary score, 77.7%); however, 48.6% believed that eating a healthy diet precluded the need for HCC surveillance, and 34.0% believed that HCC surveillance was not necessary if they had a normal physical exam and/or lacked clinical symptoms. Patients expressed worry about developing and dying from HCC, but nearly half (49.9%) of patients reported barriers to receiving HCC surveillance, including difficulty with the scheduling process (30.5%), costs of surveillance testing (25.3%), and transportation difficulties (17.3%). HCC surveillance receipt was significantly higher in patients who knew cirrhosis is a risk factor for developing HCC (odds ratio [OR], 3.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-7.62) and significantly lower in those reporting barriers to surveillance (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.25-0.70).


Patients with cirrhosis are knowledgeable and interested in HCC surveillance; however, patient-reported barriers are associated with lower surveillance rates in clinical practice and represent potential intervention targets to improve HCC surveillance effectiveness. (Hepatology 2017;65:875-884).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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