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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Mar;12(3):303-314. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2018.1424541. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

Hepcare Europe - bridging the gap in the treatment of hepatitis C: study protocol.

Author information

1
a UCD School of Medicine , University College Dublin , Dublin , Ireland.
2
b Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas y MicrobiologĂ­a , Hospital Universitario de Valme , Seville , Spain.
3
c Infectious Diseases Department , Victor Babes Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases , Bucharest , Romania.
4
d Infectious Diseases Department , Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy , Bucharest , Romania.
5
e Find & Treat Service , University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , London , UK.
6
f Institute of Global Health , University College London , London , UK.
7
g School of Social and Community Medicine, Oakfield House , University of Bristol , Bristol , UK.
8
h Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases , Mater Misericordiae University Hospital , Dublin , Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among people who inject drugs (PWID). Many PWID are unaware of their infection and few have received HCV treatment. Recent developments in treatment offer cure rates >90%. However, the potential of these treatments will only be realised if HCV identification among PWID with linkage to treatment is optimised. This paper describes the Hepcare Europe project, a collaboration between five institutions across four member states (Ireland, UK, Spain, Romania), to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to improve the identification, evaluation and treatment of HCV among PWID.

METHODS:

A service innovation project and a mixed-methods, pre-post intervention study, Hepcare will design and deliver interventions in Dublin, London, Seville and Bucharest to enhance PWID engagement and retention in the cascade of HCV care.

RESULTS:

The feasibility, acceptability, potential efficacy and cost-effectiveness of these interventions to improve care processes and outcomes among PWID will be evaluated.

CONCLUSION:

Hepcare has the potential to make an important impact on patient care for marginalised populations who might otherwise go undiagnosed and untreated. Lessons learned from the study can be incorporated into national and European guidelines and strategies for HCV.

KEYWORDS:

Europe; HCV; Hepatitis C; PWID; homeless; interventions; linkage to care; prisoners; screening; treatment

PMID:
29300496
DOI:
10.1080/17474124.2018.1424541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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