People considering hepatitis C treatment want information on the potential harms and benefits of treatment, details of treatment regimens and basic information on hepatitis C-related liver disease, reported U.S. researchers in The Patient.
Limited research exists about the topics that people consider most important when making decisions about hepatitis C treatment.
The study involved two groups. The first group (45 people) listed all the information topics they thought would be important to reach a decision about treatment. The second group (57 people) ranked the importance of the topics identified by the first group.
The information needs identified by the first group included:
- harms of treatment: side effects, impact on quality of life, cost of therapy, worsening of hepatitis C and impact on wider health and other illnesses
- details of treatment regimens: length of treatment, information on specific medications, such as how they are taken and drug interactions
- benefits of treatment: cure, impact on long-term survival, potential improvements in other health conditions, hepatitis C symptoms and functioning
- basic information on hepatitis C and liver disease
The second group rated almost all of the topics (16/17) identified by the first group as "pretty important or extremely important" for making treatment decisions.
The most highly ranked topics, included:
- viral cure rate of the treatment
- effect of a viral cure on long-term survival and other health issues
- what side effects the treatment might cause
- how injured their liver is
- lifestyle changes that support liver health
- how the medication is taken
"The findings from this study demonstrate that patients with hepatitis C wish to consider a plethora of information to assist them to make informed decisions about their hepatitis C treatment options," stated the researchers. (infohep.org, January 2017)