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Hepatitis C Point-of-Care Testing in Vulnerable Populations

A Human Factors Study

Zucker, Donna M., PhD, RN, FAAN; Shanmugam, Akshaya, PhD, MS, BE

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000221

One third of all hepatitis C virus (HCV) cases in the United States are incarcerated in jails and prisons. Hepatitis C virus testing is primarily accomplished through a clinical laboratory, yet point-of-care (POC) testing is less invasive and results are available in 20 minutes compared with up to 3 weeks. The purpose of this article was to describe the findings of a collaborative project between the Colleges of Engineering and Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in executing a human factors study for HCV antibody testing and screening. Observation and recording of three-step human factors data included length of time and resources required to execute a POC test and technology use data. In the three-step process, more time is spent on filling out paperwork (4.27 minutes) than is spent on the procedure (1.24 minutes) or on counselling (0.55 minutes). The majority of high-risk respondents had access to smart technology within the previous 3 years. Human factors data will enhance the capabilities of testing, data storage, self-management, and aid in formulating an efficient screening model for marginalized patients with liver disease.

Donna M. Zucker, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Akshaya Shanmugam, PhD, MS, BE, is Program Manager, Lumme Inc., Amherst, Massachusetts.

Correspondence to: Donna M. Zucker, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Massachusetts, 651 Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Received June 04, 2015

Accepted October 31, 2015

© 2016 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.