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Aust Fam Physician. 2017 Nov;46(11):859-864.

The challenge of liver cancer surveillance in general practice: Do recall and reminder systems hold the answer?



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance reduces mortality in at-risk people living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), but is difficult to achieve in practice. The objective of this study was to measure participation and adherence to liver cancer HCC surveillance in eligible patients in a community health centre, following support from the Integrated Hepatitis B Service (IHBS).


A retrospective analysis of the medical records of patients with CHB who met the indications for HCC surveillance over a 4.5-year period of IHBS involvement was conducted. Data collected included the date of ultrasound examinations and HBV DNA viral load tests.


Sixty-seven patients underwent HCC surveillance, representing 213 person years. The participation rate was 75%. Adherence to surveillance was considered good in 18 (27%) patients, suboptimal in 29 (43%) patients and poor in 20 (30%) patients. A greater proportion of patients were receiving HCC surveillance at the final audit (56%) than at baseline (10%; P DISCUSSION: It is difficult to achieve optimal adherence to HCC surveillance, even with additional support.

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