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Hepatitis C: a patient's journey from a psychiatrist's perspective

  • Vellingiri Raja Badrakalimuthu, Daphne Rumball and Amit Chawla

Summary

There is an increasing prevalence of hepatitis C, particularly among intravenous drug users. Estimates of infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients with severe mental illness in the USA have ranged from 8.5% to 19.6%. Alcohol use and misuse is the single biggest contributory factor to the development of fatal liver disease in people with hepatitis C. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are present in HCV infection, independent of any treatment. Despite such alarming observations, the success rate of antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis C has improved considerably in recent years. This article explores psychiatrists' involvement in advocating for treatment inclusion, assessing patients' capacity to make treatment-related decisions and supporting the medical team in managing the complex journey a patient undertakes from being at high risk to receiving treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr V. R. Badrakalimuthu, Beechcroft, Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge CB21 5EF, UK. Email: raja.badrakalimuthu@cpft.nhs.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Hepatitis C: a patient's journey from a psychiatrist's perspective

  • Vellingiri Raja Badrakalimuthu, Daphne Rumball and Amit Chawla
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