1School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, QUB, Belfast, UK.
It is well-established that prevalence of Hepatitis C (HCV) infection in prisoners is disproportionately higher than in the general population. While developments in screening and treatment for HCV have enabled greater detection and treatment in prison, release is a high-risk time for HCV infected prisoners returning to the challenges of community living. A scoping review was conducted to examine the evidence on individual, provider and system level factors that influence compliance with HCV treatment in patients transitioning from prison to community. Retrieved articles were screened and those eligible were selected for data extraction. Quantitative and qualitative studies were included. Electronic peer-reviewed databases were searched in February 2022: 140 articles were initially identified of which seven were included in the final review. Six key themes characterized the literature: education, case management and discharge planning, hepatology in-reach nurses, transition clinics, primary care providers and system wide approach. This summary scoping review highlights the paucity of research in this area. There is a need for experimental research to investigate specific interventions, and to understand HCV care-specific barriers and facilitators. A multi-pronged approach is needed to address barriers to healthcare services in general but also specific barriers relating to HCV. Factors that facilitate compliance should also be recognized and amplified across regional HCV elimination strategies.