Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 10, pp 2550–2556 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Provider Knowledge of Hepatitis C: Is it Enough for a Complex Disease?

  • Susan L. ZickmundEmail author
  • Kyle E. Brown
  • Klaus Bielefeldt
Original Paper


As studies indicate that patients with hepatitis C face poor provider knowledge and even stigmatization, we conducted a systematic review of provider knowledge about and attitudes toward hepatitis C. We searched Medline for original studies between 1990 and 2005. Articles were abstracted to define target population, recruitment strategies, study design, and key findings. Twenty-six publications performed in nine countries were identified. Whereas studies demonstrated an understanding of the nature of hepatitis C, significant knowledge deficits existed related to natural history, diagnostic approaches, and treatment. The relevance of simple measures, such as vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, was underappreciated. While providers were aware of risk factors for the disease, there were substantial misperceptions, with 5%–20% of providers considering casual contact as a risk for disease acquisition. We conclude that while healthcare providers understand the nature of hepatitis C, important knowledge gaps persist, which may constitute barriers to appropriate therapy.


Hepatitis C Provider Knowledge Attitudes Stigmatization Barriers 



SLZ was supported in part by the Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development Merit Review Entry Program Career Development Award and also by pilot funds from the VA VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). KEB was supported by a Merit Review grant from the Veterans Administration.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan L. Zickmund
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Kyle E. Brown
    • 2
  • Klaus Bielefeldt
    • 3
  1. 1.VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Department of MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Iowa City Veterans Administration Medical Center and Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of MedicineIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Center for Health Equity Research and PromotionVA Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPittsburghUSA

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