Significant reductions in drinking following brief alcohol treatment provided in a hepatitis C clinic

Eric Dieperink, Samuel B. Ho, Sara Heit, Janet M. Durfee, Paul Thuras, Mark L. Willenbring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Although the hepatitis C virus (HCV) alone increases the risk of cirrhosis, alcohol use is thought to act synergistically with HCV to significantly hasten the development of fibrosis. Objective: The authors assessed the impact of brief medical counseling or integrated-care approaches to lessen or eliminate alcohol use in these vulnerable patients. Method: This retrospective study describes the effect of brief alcohol treatment delivered in a hepatitis clinic on drinking outcomes and antiviral treatment eligibility: 47 heavy-drinking chronic hepatitis C patients received a brief intervention performed by medical clinicians, with follow-up by a psychiatric nurse-specialist. Results: At the last follow-up, 62% of patients reported >50% drinking reduction; these included 36% who achieved abstinence. Only 6% of patients were excluded from antiviral therapy. Discussion: Brief treatment addressing heavy drinking delivered by hepatitis clinicians with psychiatric-specialist follow-up was associated with abstinence or a signifi-cant reduction in alcohol consumption in over 50% of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Hepatitis C Resource Center .

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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