Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection represents a growing health burden in Australia. This clinical audit aimed to enhance general practitioner awareness of the recommended management for patients with chronic hepatitis B.
This article describes a clinical two-phase audit of 119 Australian GPs who contributed records retrospectively of patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Patient records were examined for compliance with prevailing guidelines and GPs received education on guidelines. At completion of the audit 29% of patients were monitored at recommended intervals and 47% were managed according to the current guidelines. Recording of hepatitis B virus DNA results increased from 24% in phase 1 to 63% in phase 2. General practitioners reported increased knowledge of appropriate management and referral. Twenty-five percent of patients audited in both phases had been referred to a specialist. Participating GPs improved their management of patients with chronic hepatitis B. However, there remains considerable scope for enhancing GP understanding of hepatitis B virus and applying current guidelines to clinical practice.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection represents a growing health burden in Australia. No individual with chronic infection should be considered a ‘healthy carrier’, but should be categorised as having either active or inactive disease.1 It is estimated that in Australia by 2017 there will be a threefold increase in cases of HBVinduced liver cancer and a marked increase in deaths attributable to infection with the virus.2
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