Retrieval of patients with hepatitis C who were lost to follow-up in Southern Denmark

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The goal of the C-Free-South project is to eliminate hepatitis C (HCV) in the Region of Southern Denmark (1.2 million inhabitants). One target group consists of people with HCV who had received care but were lost to follow-up. The study aim was to evaluate program efficacy in locating these patients and getting them into care.

METHODS: Patients were contacted if they were HCV-RNA positive and age 18+ years, registered in the clinical hepatitis database as of November 1, 2019, and had no scheduled HCV-related appointment. They were contacted at 2-month intervals by phone or letter. For patients who did not respond, we asked their general practitioner to refer them, if possible.

RESULTS: We identified 69 (7%) patients in the database who were listed as untreated and not being followed up. We successfully contacted 54 (78%), and the remaining 15 (22%) did not respond to our contacts. To date, 45 (65%) had initiated treatment, one (1%) had rejected treatment, and eight (12%) did not show up to their appointments. Among those receiving treatment, 20 (44%) responded after the first contact, 18 (40%) after the second contact, and 7 (16%) after informing the general practitioner.

CONCLUSION: An intensified and persistent effort made it possible to reach most HCV patients lost to follow-up. All new contact attempts increased the possibility that patients would receive treatment. Nevertheless, 22% of HCV patients lost to follow-up did not respond to repeated contact attempts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfectious Diseases
Volume55
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)361-369
ISSN2374-4235
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • direct-acting antivirals
  • Hepatitis C
  • lost to follow-up
  • micro-elimination
  • retrieval
  • Lost to Follow-Up
  • Hepacivirus/genetics
  • Hepatitis C/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy

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