Francis Family Liver Clinic, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario; Division of Gastroenterology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: Hemant.firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Education of individuals who are at risk for, or have been diagnosed with, chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections can improve their participation in disease management. We performed a systematic review to evaluate the effects of educational interventions for patients with HBV or HCV infections.
We searched multiple databases for peer-reviewed studies of individuals with HBV or HCV infection, or those at risk for infection. Our final analysis included 14 studies that evaluated any educational intervention and reported the effectiveness or patient outcomes relevant to the intervention (7 patients with HCV infection, 4 patients with HBV infection, and 3 patients with either). Data extracted from studies included details on educational interventions, patient populations, comparison groups, and outcome measures. The quality of each study was appraised.
Types of educational interventions assessed ranged from information websites and nurse-led sessions to community-wide and institutional programs. The educational interventions showed significant (P < .05) improvements to patients' knowledge about their disease, behaviors (including testing and uptake of vaccination), willingness to commence and adhere to treatment, and other outcomes such as self-efficacy and vitality or energy scores. These significant benefits were shown in 5 of 7 studies of HBV infection and 8 of 10 studies of HCV infection. On a 20-point quality scale, study scores ranged from 6 to 19.
Simple educational interventions for patients with HBV or HCV infection significantly increase patients' knowledge about their disease. More complex, multimodal educational interventions seem to cause behavioral changes that increase rates of testing, vaccination (for HBV), and treatment.