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Hepatitis and health-related quality of life in IDUs

Grace L. Reynolds, DPA(c), Dennis G. Fisher, PhD, and Catherine M. Branson, BA. Center for Behavioral Research & Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, 562-495-2330, greynol2@csulb.edu

Background: Many injection drug users (IDUs) are positive for hepatitis C infection due to acquisition of the disease from unsafe injection practices. Little research has been done one the quality of life of IDUs with hepatitis.

Methods: 288 current and former IDUs were recruited through a hepatitis demonstration project in Los Angeles County and tested for hepatitis A, B, and C. Participants completed several questionnaires, including the Risk Behavior Assessment (RBA) and the Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB).

Results: The majority of participants were male (57%) and 58% reported their race as White, followed by Latino (27%), African American (11%) and Other (3%). The mean QWB score overall was .684 (SD = .12, range 1.0 to .477). Of this group, 70% tested positive for hepatitis C, 54% tested positive for hepatitis B, and 51% tested positive for hepatitis A. There was a statistically significant differences in QWB scores between those testing positive for hepatitis C (M = .63, SD = .11) compared to those who did not test positive for hepatitis C (M = .67, SD = .10, t(94) = -1.99, p = .049). Those co-infected with both hepatitis C and A had lower QWB scores (M = .65, SD = .10) compared to those without hepatitis C and A co-infection (M = .70, SD = .12, t(111) = 2.05, p = .04).

Conclusions: The QWB instrument is sensitive to differences in quality of life between infected and non-infected IDUs with hepatitis C. Further studies with other quality of life instruments are needed with this population.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Injection Drug Users, Hepatitis C

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.

Injection Drug Use and Youth Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA