Illness perceptions and treatment outcomes in Hepatitis C

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Journal Article

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Langston, S. A., Edwards, M. S., Lyvers. M & Stapleton, P. (2016). Illness perceptions and treatment outcomes in Hepatitis C. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 45(2),22-28.

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Objectives. Investigate the ability of illness perceptions to predict Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment outcomes, after first controlling for relevant HCV clinical and demographic data.

Method. Thirty two participants with HCV completed two online questionnaires at Time 1 (pre-HCV treatment) and Time 2 (three months post commencement of HCV treatment). Time 1 online survey collected HCV clinical and demographic data and measured the illness perceptions of participants. Based on the self-regulatory model of illness (SRM), the eight-component structure of the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) (Broadbent, Petrie, Main, & Weinman, 2006), which included illness consequences, timeline, personal and treatment control, illness identity, concern, coherence or understanding, emotional response, and causality, was utilised. Time 2 online survey assessed (1) HCV treatment adherence and (2) HCV treatment response.

Results. Treatment control perceptions emerged as the singular illness perception to predict HCV treatment outcome. The only HCV clinical data to contribute to variance in treatment outcome results were substance use and reported mental health comorbidity .

Conclusions. Results demonstrate the important role of illness perceptions in predicting HCV treatment outcomes, and provide support for including HCV pre-treatment psychological interventions to address maladaptive illness perceptions for individuals preparing for HCV treatment.

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