The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

HARCP Archives

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2021, 23, N1 (pages: 5 - 17)

Impact of Health Education on the Treatment of Hepatitis C Infection in Patients in Drug Addiction Treatment Centres in Serbia

Jovanovic M., Todorov N., Dickov A., Arsenijevic V., Kovacevic M., Mijailovic Z., and Colovic S.

Summary: Background: To explore the impact of Health Education on the liver specialist Referral Rates of the Hepatitis C-infected individuals treated at one of four Drug Addiction Treatment Reference Centres in Serbia. Methods: A multicentre cross-sectional study, including two evaluation surveys conducted over a period of six months and a Hepatitis C Health Education Programme, was carried out on a population of drug users receiving treatment, with already diagnosed but previously untreated HCV infection. The aim of the present study has been to show the efficacy of the implemented Health Education Programme on liver specialist Referral Rates both at baseline and after completion of the Education Programme. Results: Demographic data on patients (n=365): 85.95% of patients were lifetime intravenous psychoactive drug users, of whom 58.2% were single, 82.5% were being treated in a substitution treatment programme, 80% were unemployed, and 14.25% had a confirmed psychiatric disease, while 5.16% had a confirmed somatic disease (90% of them were not aware of the disease, that is, had not undergone a somatic examination). The study has shown that, after their participation in the Health Education Programme, among the subjects who were not lonely and those with a technical school diploma, the frequency of probable liver specialist referrals appeared to be 1.45 and 1.33 times higher, respectively. Results obtained on liver specialist Referral Rates did not confirm the hypothesis that very low awareness of Hepatitis C led to low treatment rates.: Conclusions: Structured communication may have an impact on the decision to visit a liver specialist. Awareness of the disease is not enough by itself, but it is still important in providing clear and well-balanced information that could function as a strong stimulus. The probability of visiting an HCV treatment centre increases when a high level of support comes from an important person in a given patient`s life, and the same effect is created by a more advanced level of education.


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