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Capstone Committee Chair: Albert Crawford, PhD, MBA Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University


This study examined healthcare providers’ and patients’ knowledge of hepatitis C (HCV), and their attitudes regarding HCV screening in the ED. Two surveys were conducted; 1) an online survey of ED clinical staff at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH), and 2) an orally-administered survey of patients at TJUH ED. Of the 145 providers who responded, 40% were unaware that HCV is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the U.S., only 19% knew that there are curative medications available, and 50% were unaware of screening recommendation for patients born 1945-1965 (“baby-boomers”). 71% agreed that ED-based HCV screening would benefit patients, 68% agreed patients would want testing, and 68% would feel comfortable discussing results; only 15% felt that testing would take too long. Of the 593 patients surveyed, subjects with risk factors reported higher rates of previous HCV testing and diagnosis; this finding persisted among baby-boomers (54% versus 35% previously tested, OR=2.212, 95% C.I.=1.326–3.692, and 21% versus 2% previously diagnosed, OR=11.290, 95% C.I.=3.309–38.519). Baby-boomers with risk factors obtained the highest mean knowledge score (7.55 versus 6.80 by baby-boomers without risks factors, t(244)=2.373, p=0.018). 93% of subjects perceived HCV as a serious disease, and 96% felt testing would be beneficial in order to receive treatment. 63%, however, reported low perceived risk for HCV. Subjects with risk factors had significantly higher rates of perceived risk, including among baby-boomers (46% versus 28%, OR=2.209, 95% C.I.=1.266–3.855). 84% of subjects would get tested if screening were offered in the ED. Amongst baby-boomers, however, those with risk factors were significantly more likely to report willingness to be tested (93% versus 82%, OR=2.9, 95% C.I.=1.263–7.050). Overall, providers and patients appear to support ED-based HCV screening, but awareness of current recommendations and perceived risk among baby-boomers without risk factors remain low.

Presentation: 24 minutes