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Living With Chronic Hepatitis C Means 'You Just Haven't Got a Normal Life Any More'

Conrad, Sue, Garrett, Lyndall E., Cooksley, W. Graham E., Dunne, Michael P., & MacDonald, Graeme A. (2006) Living With Chronic Hepatitis C Means 'You Just Haven't Got a Normal Life Any More'. Chronic Illness, 2(2), pp. 121-131.

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Abstract

Objective: To explore psychosocial factors that impact on quality of life for people living with self-reported chronic hepatitis C. Methods: A purposeful sample of 70 people who were self-identified as being hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive was recruited through a variety of institutions and community agencies. Semi-structured interviews were held with 12 groups and 21 individuals. A qualitative grounded-theory methodology was used for data collection and analysis. Experiences of physical and psychological symptoms, stigma and discrimination, and living with an infectious disease, were explored using matrices. Results: Phenomena emerging from the data included previously undocumented illness 'attacks' that were associated with depressive symptoms and a perception of hepatitis C as fatal. Uncertainty related to disease progression and transmission of the virus were common experiences among participants. A universal experience was fear and anxiety about stigma and discrimination. Discussion: The findings of this study indicate that chronic hepatitis C has a pervasive impact on quality of life with a complexity that has not been explored with quantitative research approaches. Primary healthcare professionals need to be alert to the psychological and social impacts of chronic hepatitis C and to avoid behaviours that lead to perceptions of stigma and discrimination. The research indicates a need for further investigation into the relationship between psychosocial factors, disease management and disease progression.

Impact and interest:

27 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 9998
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Biomedical, Blind Peer Reviewed, Double Blind Peer Reviewed, Editorial Board Reviewed, Expert Peer Reviewed, Online/Print, Peer Reviewed, UK & Ireland
DOI: 10.1177/17423953060020020701
ISSN: 1745-9206
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:26

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