The effect of stimulant use on antiviral treatment in an integrated hepatitis clinic

Eric Dieperink, Astrid Knott, Paul Thuras, Christine Pocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective was to determine the impact of stimulant use on antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients in an integrated hepatitis clinic. Methods: A retrospective chart review of 449 consecutive patients seen in an integrated hepatitis clinic that included co-located mental health clinicians was performed. Psychiatric measures included drug use questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption questions (AUDIT-C), urine drug screen and antiviral treatment outcomes. Patients with stimulant use were compared to patients with no drug use, other drug users and an unknown drug use group using χ2 and analysis of variance tests. Results: Over 15% of hepatitis C patients presenting to the clinic were using stimulants. Stimulant users had higher BDI and AUDIT-C scores. They were more likely to be followed by a co-located mental health clinician than other groups and were just as likely to initiate and finish antiviral therapy. Conclusions: Recent stimulant use is common in hepatitis C patients presenting to a hepatitis clinic. Stimulant users were more depressed and used alcohol to a greater degree than nonusers but were as likely to start antiviral therapy. An integrated mental health/medical care approach appears to be effective in addressing this difficult-to-treat population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Antiviral treatment
  • Chronic hepatitis C infection
  • Cocaine
  • Integrated care
  • Methamphetamine


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