Unravelling the maze: Hepatitis C, psychosocial factors and access to antiviral therapy

Hepworth, Julie, van Driel, Mieke and Bain, Tanya (2012). Unravelling the maze: Hepatitis C, psychosocial factors and access to antiviral therapy. In: Lynda Cheshire and Alex Broom, 2012 Conference Proceedings TASA. The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference (TASA 2012), Brisbane, Australia, (). 26-29 November 2012.

Author Hepworth, Julie
van Driel, Mieke
Bain, Tanya
Title of paper Unravelling the maze: Hepatitis C, psychosocial factors and access to antiviral therapy
Conference name The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference (TASA 2012)
Conference location Brisbane, Australia
Conference dates 26-29 November 2012
Proceedings title 2012 Conference Proceedings TASA
Place of Publication Brisbane, Australia
Publisher The Australian Sociological Association
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780646587837
Editor Lynda Cheshire
Alex Broom
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In this paper we present an examination of the literature on the psychosocial aspects of hepatitis C (HCV), and ask what are the implications for patients and clinicians regarding access to treatment? Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne communicable disease that was identified in 1988. In Australia, an estimated 217,000 people live with HCV. The virus causes serious liver inflammation, can lead to liver cirrhosis and a small percentage of sufferers will develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Reports about the psychosocial aspects of HCV appeared from around 1994 indicating a similar set of societal responses to people with HIV; stigmatisation and discrimination. A number of calls were made for the establishment of counselling and support services to address the specific mental health needs of people with HCV. We conducted a systematic review of the literature between 2002-2012 about the psychosocial aspects of HCV and its relationship to access to treatment and identified a number of key issues that suggest the anticipated progress in this area has not been made. The majority of people with HCV already experience marginalisation, and the diagnosis of HCV further compounds their marginalisation through stigma and discrimination and complicates clinical decision-making around treatment.

We conclude that the need for mental health services that are capable of addressing the complexities of the psychosocial aspects of HCV remains. Concomitantly, primary care clinicians require greater clarity and consistency about the clinical guidelines for HCV to meet the increasing expectations on them to deliver comprehensive patient management within primary care.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference 2012 was a joint event including both TASA and the Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ), including a special trans-Tasman plenary session.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 14 Feb 2013, 10:55:15 EST by Associate Professor Julie Hepworth on behalf of Discipline of General Practice