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Comparison of Knowledge to Screen for Hepatitis C Virus Infection versus Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Primary Care Physicians


Gebreselassie, Agazi MD, MSc1; Cezar, Carensa BS, MS2; Kibreab, Angesom MD1

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American Journal of Gastroenterology: October 2018 - Volume 113 - Issue - p S473-S474
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Introduction: Treatment of hepatitis C infection has shown significant advancement in recent years. The majority of patients can be cured with current treatments available. One major challenge that remains is identifying individuals with infection in the community. A significant proportion of individuals in the community do not know their infection status. Early identification can lead to proper care and management. Primary care providers play a significant role in identifying undiagnosed hepatitis C infected individual.

Methods: The study was cross sectional in design. A standardized and structured questionnaire was administered to primary care providers in a teaching hospital to collect data. Both attending providers and physicians in training were included. Data was analyzed using SPSS (version 25.0).

Results: There were eighty respondents to the questionnaire. Only 23 percent of the respondents remembered to offer hepatitis C screening test to average risk individuals. This was in contrast to 97 percent of respondents who remembered to offer colorectal cancer screening. The main reason for not offering screening test was difficulty to recall the age group for screening (35 percent) and assumption that screening was already done by other providers (17 percent). Eighty-two percent of respondents thought that offering hepatitis C screening when individuals come for colorectal cancer screening would increase hepatitis C infection detection rate.

Conclusion: Most primary care providers in the study did not remember to offer hepatitis C virus screening to their patients in contrast to a very high recall rate for colorectal cancer screening. Helping primary care providers with tools to remember hepatitis C virus screening could be important. Offering hepatitis C screening when individuals come for colorectal cancer screening may be an option to increase hepatitis C screening among primary care providers.

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