Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Outcomes of Care Models and Reports
The Effects of Treatment for Hepatitis C: The Horror Stories
Michelle Kinder, MSN, RNC, PHN, Department of Nursing, California State University, Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA, USA
Learning Objective #1: discuss the physical and emotional effects of treatment.
Learning Objective #2: explain the paradox of the needle.

Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe male patients’ experiences of undergoing and completing treatment for HCV. A review of the literature revealed various quantitative studies on the effect of treatment of HCV on health related quality of life scores. No study, however, has been conducted from the perspective of the participant reporting, in their words, a description of the lived experience of undergoing treatment for HCV. 


Background: HCV is a chronic, insidious, progressive disease that can result in cirrhosis, end stage liver disease and/or hepatocellular carcinoma.  HCV infection is the leading indication for liver transplantation. With the potential complications of this disease, treatment has become a priority in hope of decreasing HCV related complications.


Methods: This study used a qualitative, phenomenological research design to explore phenomena related to the lived experiences of male participants undergoing treatment for HCV.


Results: Analysis of narrative data from eight men who had lived the experience of combination therapy for hepatitis C revealed six distinct, but interrelated themes: acquisition of the disease, the diagnosis, the treatment decision-making, the “horror stories” regarding treatment, what helped, and feelings now. One patient summed his “horror story” of the flu like symptoms as “well it feels like having a pair of lead shoes on, walking around Mt. Whitney every day with the flu.”


Implications: The research findings from this study reflect many applications to nursing. Advanced practice nurses (APN) who case manage these patients undergoing treatment are able to assist in decreasing patient complications. If the APN is able to reduce the complications the patient has, then the financial burden will be less not only to the patient, but also healthcare.