The Hepatitis C treatment experience: Patients' perceptions of the facilitators of and barriers to uptake, adherence and completion

Victoria A Sublette, Sian K Smith, Jacob George, Kirsten McCaffery, Mark W Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVE: This study explores the perceptions of patients receiving treatment for Hepatitis C to determine what factors influence their decision to commence treatment, ability to maintain adherence and complete their treatment program.

DESIGN: Semi-structured interview techniques were used in a qualitative study of 20 patients undergoing treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To explore patients' perceived barriers and facilitators of Hepatitis C treatment adherence and completion.

RESULTS: Analysis of patient interviews identified four key themes: (1) motivations for commencing CHC treatment - fear of death and ridding themselves of stigma and shame; (2) the influential role of provider communication - patients reported that information and feedback that was personalised to their needs and lifestyles was the most effective for improving adherence to treatment; (3) facilitators of treatment adherence and completion - social, emotional and practical support improved adherence and completion, as did temporarily ceasing employment; (4) barriers to treatment adherence and completion - these included side effects, stigma, a complicated dosing schedule and limitations of the public healthcare system.

CONCLUSION: To increase treatment adherence and completion rates, a patient-centred approach is required that addresses patients' social, practical, and emotional support needs and adaptive coping strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1004
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number8
Early online date23 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage
  • Attitude to Health
  • Communication
  • Employment/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hepatitis C/psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance/psychology
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support


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