Provision of on-site medical care to patients with hepatitis C in drug treatment units

Zdravko P. Vassilev, Shiela M. Strauss, Janetta M. Astone, Peter D. Friedmann, Don C. Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Substance abusers are at high risk for hepatitis C (HCV) infection and also constitute a group that is medically underserved and hard to reach. We conducted a nationwide survey with 445 randomly selected drug treatment units in the United States to determine unit and patient characteristics associated with the provision of on-site medical services for HCV-infected drug users. Eighty-four percent of the 322 units that estimated having at least one HCV-infected patient reported that they provided patients with HCV-related medical care. Drug treatment units were more likely to provide at least some of this care on site if they were residential, part of a network, or affiliated with a hospital; had medical staff; and required that their patients undergo a medical examination before entering treatment. Some organizational factors appear to influence the provision of on-site medical services to HCV-positive patients in drug treatment units. Further research on the role of such factors could inform the development of effective models of care for patients with hepatitis C in drug treatment organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-671
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Drug abuse treatment
  • Drug users
  • Hepatitis C
  • Medical care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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