The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4092.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 7

Abstract #39429

Routine medical examinations of patients entering substance abuse treatment: Implications for hepatitis C diagnostics and treatment

Zdravko P. Vassilev, MD, MPH1, Shiela M. Strauss, PhD2, Janetta Astone, PhD2, and Don C. Des Jarlais, PhD3. (1) National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010, (212) 845-4475,, (2) National Development and Research Institutes, Inc, 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010, (3) National Development and Research Istitutes, Inc., Beth Israel Medical Center, 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010

Patients in drug abuse treatment constitute a population with a disproportionately high prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Drug treatment programs, in their expanded role as medical care facilitators for drug users, are uniquely situated to provide essential HCV-related diagnostic and treatment services to their patients. Programs requiring a medical exam before entering treatment can identify those patients who have HCV infection or HCV-related medical conditions. This study examines the program and patient characteristics associated with drug treatment programs’ routine performance of pre-admission medical exams. The data were collected through a telephone survey with the managers of 414 randomly selected drug treatment programs in the United States, participating in the larger NIDA-funded project, “STOP HEPC.” Results indicate that approximately half (49.5%) of the treatment programs in the sample required their patients to undergo a pre-admission medical exam either on-site or off-site. Of the organizational and patient characteristics examined, those most strongly associated with the regular provision of pre-admission medical exams include being a program that is (1) residential (as opposed to outpatient), (2) affiliated with a hospital, (3) dispensing methadone, and (4) having more than five persons on staff providing direct patient services. Provision of pre-admission medical examinations have the potential to identify Hepatitis C and related medical conditions in patients entering substance abuse treatment so that these patients can receive appropriate care.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Substance Abuse Treatment Strategies Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA