Outcomes of treatment for Hepatitis C by primary care providers

January 01, 0001

Outcomes of treatment for Hepatitis C by primary care providers

The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model was developed to improve access to care for underserved populations with complex health problems such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. With the use of video-conferencing technology, the ECHO program trains primary care providers to treat complex diseases. These US authors conducted a prospective cohort study comparing treatment for HCV infection at University of New Mexico (UNM) specialty clinic with treatment by primary care clinicians at 21 ECHO sites in rural areas and prisons in New Mexico. A total of 407 patients with chronic HCV infection who had received no previous treatment for the infection were enrolled.

They found: "A total of 57.5% of the patients treated at the UNM HCV clinic (84 of 146 patients) and 58.2% of those treated at ECHO sites (152 of 261 patients) had a sustained viral response. Among patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, the rate of sustained viral response was 45.8% (38 of 83 patients) at the UNM HCV clinic and 49.7% (73 of 147 patients) at ECHO sites. Serious adverse events occurred in 13.7% of the patients at the UNM HCV clinic and in 6.9% of the patients at ECHO sites."

The authors concluded: "The results of this study show that the ECHO model is an effective way to treat HCV infection in underserved communities. Implementation of this model would allow other states and nations to treat a greater number of patients infected with HCV than they are currently able to treat."

This is a less costly approach and more convenient for patients.

For the full abstract, click here.

N Engl J Med
© 2011 to the Massachusetts Medical Society
Outcomes of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Primary Care Providers. Sanjeev Arora, Karla Thornton, Glen Murata, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Arora: [email protected]

Category: D. Digestive, HSR. Health Services Research. Keywords: hepatitis C, underserved, rural, outcomes research, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 14 June 2011

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.