149176 Changes in hepatitis C virus (HCV) education and counseling delivery practices among drug treatment program staff participating in a targeted training

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Corrine E. Munoz-Plaza, MPH , Institute for Treatment Services Research, National Development & Research Institutes, New York, NY
Shiela M. Strauss, PhD , Institute for Treatment Services Research, National Development & Research Institutes, New York, NY
Janetta Astone-Twerell, PhD , Institute for Treatment Services Research, National Development & Research Institutes, New York, NY
Don Des Jarlais, PhD , Chemical Dependency Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY
Marya Gwadz, PhD , College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY
Holly Hagan, PhD , College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY
Andrew Osborne, MS , Training Institute, National Development & Research Institutes, New York, NY
Andrew Rosenblum, PhD , Institute for Treatment Services Research, National Development & Research Institutes, New York, NY
Individuals with a history of injecting drugs experience the highest risk of contracting HCV, a blood-borne viral infection. Therefore, staff at drug treatment programs are ideally positioned to deliver HCV-related services to their patients. Because research indicates that there are gaps in staffs' HCV knowledge at these programs, the authors implemented a training that aims to improve staff's understanding of HCV and their ability to communicate this knowledge to their patients. From 2006 2007, 102 staff participated in audio-taped individual or group interviews after they attended the training, and analyses of these interviews examined whether and how they had changed their approaches to working with patients to address HCV. Many staff said that they were more comfortable talking to patients about HCV post-training, and they provided examples of how their increased confidence has translated into changes in their practices. For instance, some counseling staff said that they now spend more time answering their patients' HCV-related questions directly, as opposed to referring them immediately to medical staff at the program. Other staff described how they now proactively initiate conversations about HCV with their patients during individual counseling sessions, rather than waiting for a patient to raise questions. Several staff who guide small group counseling/education sessions reported that the training motivated them to incorporate HCV into their work plans for these groups. Our findings suggest that a targeted HCV staff training may help drug treatment providers feel more comfortable and proactive in addressing their patients' HCV-related needs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the primary risk factor for the transmission of the hepatitis C virus. 2. Identify one reason why HCV-positive drug users may not receive optimal education services from staff at drug treatment programs. 3. Describe two components of the HCV training targeting staff at drug treatment programs that are described in this research.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Drug Abuse Treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.