1 School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
People who inject drugs (PWIDs) comprise a significant amount of the population who are also positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) around the world. Even though there is evidence that patients who currently inject drugs do not display altered treatment adherence or medication effectiveness, health care providers are still hesitant to treat this patient population based on perceived threats and barriers.
This literature review informs of the perceived barriers associated with PWID in receiving HCV treatment and supports recommendations to address these barriers.
For this review, eight scholarly articles rated levels I A through II B using John Hopkins Evidence-Based Practicing ratings consisting of randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses were selected. Both qualitative and quantitative data contributed to identifying perceived barriers and suggested course of action that should be taken to increase HCV treatment uptake among PWID.
The three main perceived barriers are evidence of barriers to treatment in the PWID populations and include increased risk of reinfection, low adherence to treatment, and decreased response to treatment. Removal of these barriers by increasing education about HCV disease and treatment options to both patients and health care workers and changing current policy in health care settings to provide enhanced access to HCV treatment for PWID can promote an opportunity for successful treatment of these patients.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:
There is a significant need for HCV treatment among PWID. Opportunities for successful treatment exist and should be adopted.