Hands and feet

September 2009

Research

The Victorian hepatitis C education program for GPs

An evaluation

Volume 38, No.9, September 2009 Pages 749-752

Yung-Hsuan Julie Wang

Rebecca Guy

Margaret Hellard

Background

An evaluation of a Victorian hepatitis C virus (HCV) education program for general practitioners conducted in 2005–2006 randomly surveyed 1000 Victorian GPs about key areas of HCV management.

Methods

General practitioners were sent a baseline survey before commencement of the General Practice Victoria (GPV) HCV program and a feedback brochure upon program completion. A follow up survey then assessed their knowledge of HCV management.

Results

The surveys were completed by 524/1000 GPs: 87 reported completing the GPV program and 116 reported reading the feedback brochure. The survey responses remained unchanged following the GPV program. General practitioners who reported reading the feedback brochure were more likely to correctly identify the local incidence of HCV, risk and prognosis of chronic infection, risk of vertical transmission and be aware of treatment issues.

Discussion

In view of the increasing importance of HCV and better treatment options, ongoing innovative programs are essential to improve HCV management by GPs.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia with 197 000 people estimated to be living with chronic HCV infection in 2005.1 Around 75% of patients with HCV will develop chronic infection with 7% progressing to cirrhosis after 20 years.2

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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