Achieving hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination by 2030 requires an increased linkage to care for people who inject drugs (PWID). Project ITTREAT was established to mitigate barriers to HCV care by providing an integrated service within a local drug and alcohol treatment centre. This study aimed to explore the experiences of clients and staff involved in Project ITTREAT and assess the facilitators and barriers to a community‐based HCV service. Between October 2014 and April 2016, drug and alcohol treatment attendees were interviewed using one‐to‐one semi‐structured interviews. Drug and alcohol treatment staff took part in focus groups. All data were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic content analysis. Fifteen drug and alcohol treatment attendees with current/previous HCV infection were interviewed, and 15 staff members contributed across two focus groups. Drug and alcohol treatment staff and attendees reported that Project ITTREAT facilitated access to HCV care by mitigating previous negative hospital‐based experiences. Other key facilitators were positive narratives around HCV care, and drug and alcohol treatment attendees being well engaged in their drug/alcohol recovery. Barriers included a lack of stability in drug and alcohol treatment attendees, negative discourse around testing/ treatment and stigma associated with attending the drug and alcohol treatment to access HCV treatment in some who had successfully achieved drug rehabilitation. Our findings indicate the positive impact of an integrated and personalized community‐based service delivered by a dedicated hepatitis nurse. This played a crucial role in reducing barriers to HCV care for PWID. Our work also highlights areas for future investment including non–DAT‐based community services and increasing awareness of new treatments amongst this cohort.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Phillips, C, Schulkind, J, O’Sullivan, M, et al. Improving access to care for people who inject drugs: Qualitative evaluation of project ITTREAT—An integrated community hepatitis C service. J Viral Hepat. 2019; 00: 1– 12., which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvh.13214. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
- Hepatitis C
- substance misuse
- service delivery
- community HCV service
- hepatitis C virus
- staff/client experience
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Improving access to care for people who inject drugs: Qualitative evaluation of project ITTREAT—An integrated community hepatitis C service'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- School of Sport and Health Sciences - Principal Research Fellow
- Care, Health and Emotional Wellbeing Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems
- Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender
- Centre of Resilience for Social Justice
- Public Health and Wellbeing Research and Enterprise Group