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AE Leader, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.



This study had two goals: 1) To examine the knowledge of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HCV screening among adults born between 1945 and 1965 and 2) To examine providers’ perceptions of HCV screening in the emergency department (ED). Two methods of data collection were performed: 1) a self-administered survey of 100 patients presenting to Abington Memorial Hospital (AMH) ED, and 2) interviews with ED physicians employed at AMH. Survey data was analyzed using SPSS statistical software, and physician interviews were coded in vivo and reviewed by hand. The mean knowledge score was 7.08 (SD = 2.55, range: 0-12). Knowledge was higher for patients who had been tested for HCV (p = .01). Ninety-two percent were aware HCV can cause liver damage, but only 37% were aware it can cause cancer. Eighty-six percent were aware HCV transmission could occur through sharing a needle, and 72.7% were aware of transmission by getting a tattoo. Thirty-one percent believed HCV could be transmitted through “kissing and hugging.” Knowledge scores did not significantly differ between race/ethnicity (p = .547), or gender (p = .578). Nearly 41% of patients were aware that public health authorities recommended they be screened, and 23% had obtained screening for HCV. Screening did not significantly differ by race/ethnicity (p = .0.27) or gender (p = .625). Interviewed ED physicians had apprehensions about HCV screening in the ED. Physicians were concerned with the time required to conduct HCV screening in the ED, and difficulty following up with patients with their test results. Overall, knowledge of HCV was fair among patients, but some misconceptions about transmission and screening were still present. Future interventions should focus on improving baby boomer knowledge and addressing ED screening barriers.

Presentation: 23:50