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J Viral Hepat. 2017 Aug;24(8):631-635. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12692. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Understanding patient perceptions and risk for hepatitis C screening.

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Willow Creek Family Practice, 4003 Rawlins Street, Cheyenne, WY, 82001.


The specific aims were to identify specific themes and barriers to viral hepatitis C (HCV) testing and to determine if testing rates increased when patients self-identify their risk factors and were offered testing. This study was conducted at a Federally Qualified Health Centre (FQHC) in an underserved neighbourhood located in the Mountain West. This descriptive study used survey and group-level electronic health record (EHR) data. Adults 18 years and older who speak and write in English or Spanish and arrived for care at a FQHC were recruited to complete a survey. The 10-item survey assessed demographics, HCV risk, willingness to test, and reasons for not testing. Screening rates during the survey period were compared with the baseline 2014 rates using EHR data. EHR demographic, testing, and incidents of positive HCV infections data were analysed and compared with survey data. The typical participant (N=111) was female (74%), Baby Boomer (1945-1965) generation (45%), white (86%), and uninsured (54%). Top 6 self-identified risks were tattoo and/or body piercings (47.7%), Baby Boomer (36%), multiple sex partners (18%), work-related exposure (8.1%), non-injection drug use (8.1%), and injection drug use (7.2%). Only 78% of Baby Boomers identified being a Baby Boomer as a risk. Eighty-one percent of participants did not want to test. Testing did not increase during the study period (2.9 tests/wk in 2014 and 2.1 tests/wk during the survey period). Main reasons not to test were "I do not have any risk factors" (30.2%), concerned with cost (15.1%), tested in the past (15.1%), other reasons (9.3%), not feeling well (5.8%). More than one main reason was selected by 17% of the participants. Baby Boomers did not self-identify risk. Also, testing incidence did not increase when patients self-identified risk and were offered testing. Many participants did not identify risk which is a barrier to testing.Additional barriers to overcome are concerns with cost and comfort in the clinical setting.


HCV screening; hepatitis C screening; patient perceptions; reasons not to test; screening perceptions

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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