Distance to treatment as a factor for loss to follow up of hepatitis C patients in North East England

Simpson, H, Manley, P, Lawler, J, Morey, Sarah, Buchanan, E, Hewett, M, Knowles, J, Miller, C, McCarron, B, Valappil, M and McPherson, S (2018) Distance to treatment as a factor for loss to follow up of hepatitis C patients in North East England. Journal of Public Health. ISSN 1741-3842 (In Press)

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Background A large proportion of the 200 000 HCV-infected individuals in the UK are undiagnosed or lost to follow-up. Engaging known
infected individuals in treatment is essential for elimination.
Methods Using PHE surveillance data and HCV treatment registers from North East of England (NE) treatment centres for 1997–2016, we
estimated the number of HCV cases not linked to treatment and the proportion with active infection. We compared distances of treated and
untreated cases to treatment services, and assessed the effect of expanding HCV treatment into existing drug and alcohol treatment centres in
the NEE on treatment accessibility.
Results The odds of being treated was associated with distance to treatment services. Confirmatory results for ~50% were not reported to
PHE NE. Overall, 3385 patients reported to PHE NE had no record of treatment; we estimated 1621 of these may have been lost to follow-up
after confirmation of active infection.
Conclusions Poor access to healthcare services may contribute to under-diagnosis or loss to follow-up. Expanding HCV treatment delivery into
NEE drug and alcohol treatment centres would improve the accessibility of treatment services to people infected with/at risk of HCV. This may
increase the proportion receiving treatment and support progress towards elimination.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Crown copyright 2018 This article contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: communicable diseases, geography, secondary and tertiary services
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 14:33
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 14:33
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/39821

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