RESEARCH ARTICLE


Ongoing Care and Follow-up Behavior of Working Age Japanese with Hepatitis C Virus



Koji Wada1, *, Derek R. Smith2, Hisashi Eguchi3
1 Bureau of International Medical Cooperation, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Japan
2 School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia
3 Department of Public Health, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Japan


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Creative Commons License
Eguchi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Bureau of International Medical Cooperation, National Institute for Global Health and Medicine, 1-21-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8655, Japan; Tel: +81-3-6228-0327; Fax: +81-3-3205-7860; E-mail: kwada-sgy@umin.ac.jp


Abstract

Background:

Persons infected with HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) may not actively seek medical attention as they are often asymptomatic for long periods of time.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to investigate ongoing care and follow- up behaviors of working age Japanese who are currently infected with HCV.

Methodology:

We recruited a total of 156 persons aged 20-69 years (78 male and 78 female) who had been infected with HCV and were registered with an internet survey company. These individuals were asked to answer an anonymous questionnaire which focused on how they had found out about being infected with HCV, if they had received any specific treatment, their frequency of visits to medical facilities, and if they had received prior medication.

Results:

Of the 156 participants 35.9% reported havd no prior treatment at all, while 30.1% had no regular visits to medical facilities regarding their condition. The main reason for not visiting medical facilities was the lack of doctor’s recommendation in 19.0% of men and in 31.4% of women respondents with HCV infection. Those who had never received any treatment were most likely to be in their 30s (55.6%).

Conclusion:

This study suggests that a considerable number of HCV carriers have never received treatment for HCV infection. Currently in Japan, systems appear to be lacking which might prompt HCV positive individuals to visit hepatology specialists and obtain appropriate treatment.

Keywords: Care, carrier, hepatitis C, Japan, working.