Poor access to care has made western North Carolina vulnerable to an outbreak of hepatitis C viral infection (HCV), particularly among persons who inject drugs (PWID). As substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers could potentially improve linkage to HCV testing and treatment, we sought to understand SUD providers, clinic and client characteristics; referral patterns; HCV knowledge; willingness to participate in additional trainings; and local linkage-to-care pathways for treatment of substance use and HCV. Online survey data were collected from 78 SUD providers serving PWID in eight western rural North Carolina counties. Providers' attitudes toward working with HCV+ clients were very positive. One-third of providers reported a low fund of knowledge regarding HCV, HCV treatment, and financial assistance opportunities. Non-prescribing providers rarely initiated discussions about HCV testing/treatment, but were receptive to training. Respondents indicated that HCV testing and treatment were best delivered at local health departments or primary care clinics but were open to other venues where PWID access care. The vast majority of prescribing and non-prescribing providers expressed interest in obtaining training in HCV treatments, how to obtain HCV medications and topics on advanced liver disease. Data from prescribing and non-prescribing SUD providers suggest opportunities to develop or expand integrated care models for HCV testing/treatment in PWID in rural Appalachian North Carolina.
Substance use disorder treatment providers’ knowledge and opinions toward testing and treatment of chronic hepatitis C in rural North Carolina
Evon, D., Hurt, C., Carpenter, D., Rhea, S. K., Hennessy, C. M., & Zule, W. A. (2022). Substance use disorder treatment providers’ knowledge and opinions toward testing and treatment of chronic hepatitis C in rural North Carolina. Journal of Rural Mental Health , 46(3), 162-173. https://doi.org/10.1037/rmh0000200
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