, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 1439-1444
Date: 10 Apr 2012

Tangible Resources for Preparing Patients for Antiviral Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C

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Abstract

Background

Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infected patients with coexisting mental health and/or substance abuse issues face significant barriers to treatment and are often deferred. This paper sought to highlight critical pre-treatment strategies and provide tangible resources for HCV clinicians to facilitate preparation and successful treatment of these patients.

Methods

Guided by the clinical experience of our liver center, a large, tertiary academic medical center, and informed by the extant literature, we summarize pre-treatment strategies and specific resources and recommendations for HCV providers.

Results

Four key pre-treatment strategies include: 1) screening for mental health/substance abuse issues using brief, reliable and validated instruments; 2) locating and establishing collaborative care with mental health and substance abuse specialists; 3) using a motivational interviewing communication style; and 4) addressing adherence-related issues.

Conclusions

HCV clinicians are in a unique position to prepare patients with coexisting mental health and/or substance abuse issues for antiviral therapy.