The purpose of this case study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the mental, physical, and emotional burden of being infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from the perspective of an individual living with the disease and undergoing antiviral treatment. Interviews were conducted during and after antiviral therapy with 1 participant chosen from a Midwest HCV clinic population. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded. Content analysis and thematic analysis were performed. The participant reviewed and validated the themes and the interpretation of the themes. Ten categories were identified, which were subsequently integrated in 4 themes: (1) transition or process of change, (2) maintaining control over one's life, (3) social support and communication, and (4) side effects. The results of this study can assist healthcare providers to understand what individuals experience in the course of HCV infection and its treatment. This knowledge will assist them to provide effective patient-centered care. To provide such care, it is imperative that healthcare providers understand the physical, psychological, social, and professional impact that the diagnosis of HCV infection and antiviral therapy has on individuals.
Patricia Taylor-Young, PhD, RN, FNP, is currently Postdoctoral Fellow, Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center, Portland, Oregon.
Eugenie Hildebrandt, PhD, RN, ANP, is Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee.
Correspondence to: Patricia Taylor-Young, PhD, RN, FNP, Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center, 3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd (P2NR), Portland, OR 97239 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received March 28, 2008; accepted June 25, 2008.