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Article

An Investigation of the Side Effects, Patient Feedback, and Physiological Changes Associated with Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C

1
Formosa Plastics Group Health Care, Yunlin 638, Taiwan
2
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi 613, Taiwan
3
College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
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Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi 613, Taiwan
5
Formosa Plastics Group, Safety Health & Environment Center, Taipei 508, Taiwan
6
College of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi 613, Taiwan
7
Department of Cardiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi 613, Taiwan
8
School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244981
Received: 16 November 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 7 December 2019
Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the major causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma globally. The advent of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) with high cure rates provides an opportunity to reduce the rising HCV disease burden. However, few studies have explored the side effects and physiological benefits of DAA therapy in rural areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the subjective reports of discomfort, patient feedback about the course of treatment, and physiological changes after DAA treatment in HCV patients. Methods: A descriptive, prospective, comparative cohort study was conducted from January to August 2019 in western coastal Yunlin County, Taiwan. Data regarding demographic characteristics, subjective discomfort levels, and physiological responses were collected through face to face interviews and from medical records by a cooperating hospital. Results: Six-hundred-and-twenty-three participants with an active HCV infection were identified; 555 (89.1%) had completed treatment, and sustained virologic response was achieved in 99.6% (n = 553). The mean age was 64.9 (standard deviation = 13.1) years, and 35% of patients experienced discomfort during DAA treatment, including fatigue, itching, and dizziness. After three months of treatment, physiological markers, including body weight (p < 0.001), waist circumference (p < 0.05), blood pressure (p < 0.001), alanine aminotransferase (p < 0.001), and aspartate aminotransferase (p < 0.001), had significantly improved. Almost all participants provided positive feedback about the treatment experience and reported manageable side effects. Conclusions: The findings showed that, in an endemic rural area, DAA treatment had a high cure rate and improved physiological markers with few discomforts. These results can be used to reduce the barriers HCV patients face in adopting new medications. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; direct-acting antivirals (DAAs); sustained virologic response (SVR); rural Hepatitis C virus; direct-acting antivirals (DAAs); sustained virologic response (SVR); rural
MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, P.-S.; Chang, T.-S.; Lu, S.-N.; Su, H.-J.; Chang, S.-Z.; Hsu, C.-W.; Chen, M.-Y. An Investigation of the Side Effects, Patient Feedback, and Physiological Changes Associated with Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4981. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244981

AMA Style

Wu P-S, Chang T-S, Lu S-N, Su H-J, Chang S-Z, Hsu C-W, Chen M-Y. An Investigation of the Side Effects, Patient Feedback, and Physiological Changes Associated with Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(24):4981. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244981

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Pin-Sheng, Te-Sheng Chang, Sheng-Nan Lu, Hsiang-Jou Su, Shu-Zhi Chang, Chia-Wen Hsu, and Mei-Yen Chen. 2019. "An Investigation of the Side Effects, Patient Feedback, and Physiological Changes Associated with Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 24: 4981. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244981

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