Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA; Division of Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among current and former drug users. However, the minority of patients enrolled in drug treatment programs have initiated HCV treatment. New models are needed to overcome barriers to care. In this retrospective study, we describe the implementation and outcomes of 42 patients treated in a concurrent group treatment (CGT) program. Patients participated in weekly provider-led group treatment sessions which included review of side effects; discussion of adherence and side effect management; administration of interferon injections; brief physical examination; and ended with brief meditation. Of the first 27 patients who initiated CGT, 42% achieved a sustained viral response. In addition, 87% (13/15) of genotype-1 infected patients treated with direct acting antiviral agent achieved an undetectable viral load at 24weeks. The CGT model may be effective in overcoming barriers to treatment and improving adherence and outcomes among patients enrolled in drug treatment programs.