Reassessing knowledge of Hepatitis C amongst injecting drug users and evaluation of a multi-media educational intervention

First published: 10/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

Aims:

Ten years on following a study assessing the knowledge of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) amongst injecting drug users, the researchers in this study attempted to reassess this amongst a similar group. Effectiveness of an audiovisual group intervention was assessed by exposing a group to the intervention and comparing knowledge scores on HCV with a control group.

Design:

The knowledge of HCV of eighty-five opiate dependent injecting drug users (IDU) attending a tertiary addiction centre were assessed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Setting:

A tertiary addiction centre.

Participants:

Clients attending the centre diagnosed with Opiate Dependence Syndrome and who had a history of current or past injecting behaviour in the last 6 months.

Intervention:

Interviewees completed a semi-structured questionnaire developed by the researchers on knowledge about HCV.  A group based audiovisual intervention was offered to the intention to treat group (forty-four patients) and knowledge scores pre and post intervention was compared between the two groups.

Results:

No significant change in the knowledge scores of the group compared to a similar group ten years ago. Erroneous beliefs on HCV persist. Significant association between being employed and higher knowledge scores. Only 23% of the intention to treat group attended the intervention. Knowledge scores of the exposed group were not significantly better than for the control group at Time 2. There was a clinic wide improvement of knowledge scores in the 61 interviewees who completed Time 2 questionnaires (p<0.001).

Conclusion:

The knowledge of HCV amongst IDU attending a tertiary addiction centre remains unchanged in the last decade. Regular clinic wide initiatives preferably with audiovisual interventions will improve the knowledge of HCV in this client group that may increase uptake of HCV treatment.

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Dr Onome Agbahovbe