Engaging patients and the public to improve quality of care for Hepatitis C virus infection

Funded by: 

Seed Awards

This project has increased patient knowledge and reduced concerns about Hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevention. It has also led to more patients inquiring about HCV and the eligibility criteria for participating in HCV trials.

In Vietnam, an estimated 1.07 million people are infected with the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Most remain undiagnosed. For those aware of the diagnosis, highly effective Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatment is available, but access to treatment remains limited due to prohibitive costs. The Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), Ho Chi Minh City, manages over 15,000 patients with HCV, many of whom cannot afford treatment.

This project was centered on improving community knowledge of HCV, increasing testing, and enhancing recruitment to clinical trials. Utilising a multi-media approach, we aimed to target the captive audience of the HTD clinics with educational videos, radio adverts, and specially commissioned murals.

Key Milestones / Activities

Main Activities

Two activities were completed for the project:

(1) Making two concise communication videos about Hepatitis C infection. HTD enabled us to screen the videos on their four televisions in the public spaces and waiting room areas at the hospital. This occurred between 2019 and 2022.

(2) Developing the HCV information mural at the Outpatient Department (OPD) at HTD, where many patients spent time during their hospital visits. Approximately 2000 patients and their family members were exposed to the mural per day.

Outputs and Survey

Through this project, HTD patients have a better understanding of HCV and have fewer concerns about HCV prevention. The most important impact on research is the increasing number of patients visiting our study room to ask for more information about HCV and the eligibility criteria to participate in the HCV trials.

A quick survey conducted with 30 patients about their opinions was conducted. The main points explored were:

(1) How did they feel about this project? (2) Which information did they want to know more about?; and (3) What should we improve for future study?

The results indicated that 90% of patients advised that the information we provided was easily understood, and 85% of patients said: “They would introduce our trials to their friends who would need to treat the Hep C virus”. Most wanted to extend our trials so that more people can get free treatment.

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