Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 8, August 2010

A diagnosis of hepatitis C Insights from a study on patients’ experiences

Carla Treloar Lisa Maher Jamee Newland Magdalena Harris Rachel Deacon
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Previous research has documented patient experiences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnosis to be without sufficient pretest and post-test discussions – health professionals have expressed a need for training in this area.
This study aimed to examine the diagnosis experiences of 24 people diagnosed with HCV in the preceding 2 years.
Most clinicians do not receive specialised training in hepatitis C but may be involved in diagnoses in their careers. The impact of negative diagnosis experiences for patients can be serious and long term. These findings highlight areas of suboptimal diagnosis experience and suggest training and support needs of health professionals.
Overall, the HCV diagnosis experience of participants was poor. Participant narratives of HCV diagnosis were characterised by confusion in relation to tests that were performed and the implications of test results. Post-test discussions were inadequate – there was a reported lack of information, support and referral provided to participants.

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