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BMJ Open. 2017 Nov 3;7(11):e017665. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017665.

Beyond the diagnosis: a qualitative exploration of the experiences of persons with hepatitis B in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana.

Author information

1
Department of Nursing, Valley View University, Accra, Ghana.
2
Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study explored the experiences of people with hepatitis B in the Accra metropolis.

DESIGN:

The study employed qualitative exploratory descriptive design with purposive sampling technique. Data were collected through face-to-face interview and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed using content analysis.

SETTINGS:

Participants were recruited from one government and one mission hospital in Ghana.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fourteen individuals aged between 26 and 45 years with hepatitis B infection were interviewed.

RESULTS:

The findings of the study showed that people with hepatitis B in the Accra metropolis were unclear about the impact of their infection. Furthermore, they experienced psychological and social problems especially when they were initially informed about their hepatitis B status. Sadness, fear, shock, shame and disbelief were some of the experiences reported by participants. Coping strategies adopted include religiosity, denial and lifestyle modification.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is, therefore, necessary as a country to integrate hepatitis B counselling into the already existing HIV structures in the health delivery system to offer support for individuals diagnosed with hepatitis B. Furthermore, it is important to draw lessons from the process used in the diagnosis of HIV, particularly in ensuring that people provide consent for being tested.

KEYWORDS:

epidemiology; gastroenterology; hepatology

PMID:
29102991
PMCID:
PMC5722085
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017665
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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