Introduction Hepatitis C is the third most common risk factor for liver diseases in the UK. Updated estimates suggest that around 216,000 individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis C. Treatment with combination of pegylated Interferon and ribavarin is well established. Specialist viral hepatitis nurses working collabaratively with clinicians play a major role in delivering excellent clinical outcomes.
Methods Evaluate the safety and clinical effectiveness of chronic hepatitis C treatment that was led by the specialist viral hepatitis nurses under the supervision of gastroenterologists.
Data was obtained from a prospectively maintained hepatitis C database over a 5-year period from September 2008 to date. A retrospective analysis of the database was carried out looking at the treatment outcomes. Patients with liver transplant and/or co-infection with hepatitis B or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were excluded. The dedicated viral hepatitis specialist nurses closely followed up all patients.
Results A large database of 437 patients who underwent treatment was analysed. There were 128 (29.2%) females and 309 (70.7%) males ranging between 23–84yrs old (mean age of 42). Majority of patients were treated with combination therapy of pegylated interferon α2a and ribavarin whilst a small proportion (28) have received (triple therapy) protease inhibitors. The total number of patients who achieved sustained virologic response (SVR) at the end of treatment were 264 (60.41%). 196 (74.42%) of those were genotype 3a, 57 (21.60%) were genotype 1a/1b and 11 (4.17%) were genotype 2b/2a. 43 (9.84%) were considered non-responders. 49 (11.21%) patients were unable to complete treatment due to critical physical or mental illness with 12 of those (24.50%) have achieved SVR. Patients’ feedback for this nurse-led service has been very positive.
Conclusion Specialist nurse-led and clinicians supported hepatitis C service has delivered a high quality of care. Our dedicated specialist nurses working closely with clinicians have achieved high successful treatment rates in such a large cohort of patients.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.
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