Introduction: As the opioid epidemic develops and evolves, the number of people who inject drugs is rising. A growing number of new Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections have been identified in people who inject drugs.
Objective: This study aims to better understand the demographics, well-being, and satisfaction with medical care of patients presenting for HCV treatment at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in an urban setting. The study also looks to assess the impact of continued connection to holistic medical care.
Methods: Surveys were administered to 51 unique patients at their first visit for HCV treatment. Along with demographic questions, the survey included the PHQ-9 depression screen, the PSQ-18 patient satisfaction questionnaire, the AUDIT-C alcohol screen, the SF-12 Health Survey, and an HCV risk factor assessment. Nineteen of the 51 patients were re-surveyed after 3 months.
Conclusion: Many of the patients presenting for HCV treatment face difficulties such as substance use, homelessness, low socioeconomic status, disability, unemployment, and a history of incarceration. HCV treatment offers opportunities to connect patients to a support system that addresses those problems. The patients surveyed, who had access to patient navigators, social workers, behavioral health counselors, and benefits coordinators, showed improvements in general health, mental health, and in satisfaction with their care. More data is needed to see if the results are generalizable to a broader population.
Zaret, Dina; Coleman, C.; Dorshimer, M.; Kostman, J.; Magaldi, L.; Preston, T.; Rivera, R.; and Trooskin, S., "Demographics, support opportunities, and self-reported well-being of patients presenting for hepatitis C treatment at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Philadelphia" (2018). SKMC JeffMD Scholarly Inquiry, Phase 1, Project 1.