Background: Significant disparities in hepatitis C (HCV) treatment existed in the interferon treatment era, such that patients with mental health and substance use disorders were less likely to be treated. We aimed to evaluate whether these perceptions continue to influence HCV treatment decisions. Methods: We e-mailed HCV providers a survey to assess their perceptions of barriers to HCV treatment adherence and initiation. We assessed the frequency of perceived barriers and willingness to initiate HCV treatment in patients with these barriers. We identified a group of providers more willing to treat patients with perceived barriers to adherence and determined the associated provider characteristics using Spearman’s rho and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Results: A total of 103 providers (29%) responded to the survey. The most commonly endorsed perceived barriers to adherence were homelessness (65%), ongoing drug (58%), and ongoing alcohol use (33%). However, 90%, 68%, and 90% of providers were still willing to treat patients with these comorbidities, respectively. Ongoing drug use was the most common reason providers were never or rarely willing to initiate HCV treatment. Providers who were less willing to initiate treatment more frequently endorsed patient-related determinants of adherence, while providers who were more willing to initiate treatment more frequently endorsed provider-based barriers to adherence (e.g., communication). Conclusions: Most responding providers were willing to initiate HCV treatment in all patients, despite the presence of perceived barriers to adherence or previous contraindications to interferon-based treatments. Ongoing substance use remains the most prominent influencer in the decision not to treat.
- Attitude of health personnel
- Direct-acting antiviral agents
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