Pathways of care and resource utilization in a national cohort of patients with transfusion-acquired hepatitis C

Brant, L; Harris, HE; Ramsay, ME; Grieve, R; Roberts, J; (2005) Pathways of care and resource utilization in a national cohort of patients with transfusion-acquired hepatitis C. Journal of viral hepatitis, 12 (6). pp. 618-626. ISSN 1352-0504 DOI:

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The Hepatitis C Strategy and Action Plan for England recommend that all individuals testing positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) should be referred to a specialist centre for assessment and care. One key aim is to reduce the number of people progressing to liver disease and therefore reduce the associated costs. The aims of this paper are to describe the care pathways and evaluate resource utilization in a cohort of 826 patients with transfusion-acquired hepatitis C enrolled in the HCV national register. We reviewed data extracted from patient notes to establish pathways of care since HCV-positive diagnosis through to May 2002, and to document all treatment, liver biopsy and hospital usage for each patient. Type of care was classified into specialist-interest in HCV-related care, other-hospital care or general practitioner (GP)-led care. Over 70% of patients were referred to specialist care following HCV diagnosis. Patients who were older or who had normal liver function were less likely to be referred to specialist-care. Between first diagnosis and May 2002, no patients were referred from GP to specialist-care. Less than half of this cohort had undergone liver biopsy and only 18% had been treated. Younger patients and those with abnormal liver function were more likely to have undergone liver biopsy and to have received treatment. Analysis of care histories of patients with transfusion-acquired hepatitis C suggest that changes are needed in the care and management of patients with HCV infection, if the recommendations of the HCV strategy and action plan are to be fully implemented.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: care pathways, hepatitis C, resource utilization, transfusion, treatment, Initial treatment, plus ribavirin, infection, interferon-alpha-2b, virus
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 16255763
Web of Science ID: 232659300008


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