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Arch Hellen Med, 29(2), March-April 2012, 226-232


Patient adherence to therapy for hepatitis C

E. Patelarou,1 H. Brokalaki,2 I. Elefsiniotis,2 S. Dourakis3
1Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion,
2Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
3Second Department of Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, "Hippocration" General Hospital, Athens, Greece

This is a literature review of the current knowledge regarding compliance with treatment among patients with hepatitis C virus infection. Two researchers performed a Medline search of publications from January 1974 to May 2011 using the key words (Mesh terms): "Medication adherence" or "patient compliance" or "compliance" and "hepatitis viruses" or "hepatitis C" and "interferons" or "ribavirin" or "lamivudine" or "entecavir". The literature search revealed 139 publications, 126 of which were excluded according to specific exclusion criteria. The review finally included 9 studies and additional 4 were added after appraising the cited references of the retrieved reviews. In total, 7 prospective studies, 3 clinical trials, 2 retrospective cohorts and 1 cross-sectional study have been documented. Among these studies a high percentage of patients with inadequate adherence to treatment (i.e., <80% compliance) was identified; the percentages of adherence appeared to be higher for interferon than for ribavirin therapy. The percentages of patients that are non-compliant with their treatment were high, but the small number of studies in this field and their methodological inadequacy indicate the necessity for future research in this area.

Key words: Adherence, Antivirus therapy, Compliance, Hepatitis C virus.

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