Using latent class analysis to identify patterns of hepatitis C service provision in drug-free treatment programs in the U.S.

Shiela M. Strauss, David M. Rindskopf, Janetta M. Astone-Twerell, Don C. Des Jarlais, Holly Hagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global health problem, and in many countries (including the U.S.), illicit drug users constitute the group at greatest risk for contracting and transmitting HCV. Drug treatment programs are therefore unique sites of opportunity for providing medical care and support for many HCV infected individuals. This paper determines subtypes of a large sample of U.S. drug-free treatment programs (N = 333) according to services they provide to patients with HCV infection, and examines the organizational and aggregate patient characteristics of programs in these subtypes. A latent class analysis identified four subtypes of HCV service provision: a "Most Comprehensive Services" class (13% of the sample), a "Comprehensive Off-Site Medical Services" class (54%), a "Medical Monitoring Services" class (8%) and a "Minimal Services" class (25%). "Comprehensive" services class programs were less likely to be outpatient and private for profit than those in the other two classes. It is of concern that so many programs belong to the "Minimal Services" class, especially because some of these programs serve many injection drug users. "Minimal Services" class programs in the U.S. need to innovate services so that their HCV infected patients can get the medical and support care they need. Similar analyses in other countries can inform their policy makers about the capacity of their drug treatment programs to provide support to their HCV infected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 9 2006



  • Health services
  • Hepatitis C
  • Latent class analysis
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • U.S.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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