Hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties among people with chronic hepatitis B in Australia

Stream: Living with Hepatitis
Date: Thursday, 31 March 2016
Time: 11.15 am – 1.00 pm

Abstract

Aims: This study examined feelings and attitudes about having hepatitis B among people with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), including hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties. Methods: People with CHB attending four liver clinics and one general practice in three Australian jurisdictions completed a self-administered questionnaire about their feelings and attitudes about having hepatitis B. Results: Ninety-three people completed the survey. Mean age was 45 years, 43% were women, and 75% were born in Asia. Seventy-six percent of participants reported having hepatitis B-related concerns/anxieties. The most common concerns were of developing liver cancer (57%), and infecting other people (53%). Thirty-five percent of participants were unwilling to talk to anyone about their hepatitis B while 25% changed how they lived as a result of having hepatitis B. Lower educational level was associated with feeling scared of hepatitis B (adjusted Odds Ratio [OR]: 4.04; 95%CI: 1.09-14.90; P=0.04), and an unwillingness to talk to anyone about hepatitis B (adjusted OR: 4.41; 95%CI: 1.09-17.83; P=0.04). Very good English proficiency was associated with a higher likelihood of participants changing how they lived (adjusted OR: 12.66; 95%CI: 2.21-72.42; P<0.01), and seeing life differently because of having hepatitis B (adjusted OR: 21.10; 95%CI: 3.70-120.19; P<0.01). Health professionals were the key support for 34% of participants in coping with having hepatitis B, while 18% reported no one supported them. Conclusions: Hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties are prevalent among people with CHB. Clinical management of people with CHB must address their psychological support needs as an essential component of comprehensive care.

Authors

Behzad Hajarizadeh (Presenter), Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
Dr Behzad Hajari is a Medical Practitioner and has a Masters in Public Health (MPH) and PhD in Medicine. His main area of expertise is viral hepatitis with more than ten years experience as a medical practitioner and researcher in the field of liver diseases.

Jacqui Richmond, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
-

Naomi Ngo, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
-

Jayne Lucke, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
-

Jack Wallace (Presenter), Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University
-