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Physical and psychosocial contributors to quality of life in veterans with hepatitis C not on antiviral therapy.

Rowan PJ, Al-Jurdi R, Tavakoli-Tabasi S, Kunik ME, Satrom SL, El-Serag HB. Physical and psychosocial contributors to quality of life in veterans with hepatitis C not on antiviral therapy. Journal of clinical gastroenterology. 2005 Sep 1; 39(8):731-6.

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Treatment-naive hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients report impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL), although causes are unclear. Psychosocial factors may be major determinants of HRQOL. METHODS: We administered a general (Short Form-36; SF-36) and a liver-specific (Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire; CLDQ) HRQOL measure to 62 HCV-infected veterans being considered for antiviral therapy. Psychosocial assessment included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders/Non-Patient (SCID-I/NP), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Abbreviated Cook-Medley (ACM) anger measure, and Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Measure (SSM). We examined the potential determinants of HRQOL, including psychosocial measures, demographic measures (age, sex, race/ethnicity), clinical measures (presence of cirrhosis, comorbid medical conditions), and viral data (quantitative PCR). RESULTS: SF-36 scores were significantly lower in HCV-infected patients than published U.S. population norms but similar to those reported by previous studies of HCV-infected samples. CLDQ scores were very similar to those reported by previous studies. Demographic, clinical, and viral indicators were not statistically associated with HRQOL, and neither was the presence of a substance abuse or psychotic disorder. Lower BDI-II and BAI scores were associated with better general and disease-specific HRQOL. Lower SSM scores were associated with lower scores on SF-36 but not CLDQ; however, this effect did not persist in multiple linear regression analyses. In these, BDI-II was the strongest independent predictor of both SF-36 and CLDQ. CONCLUSIONS: Psychosocial factors, especially depression, are strong indicators of impaired HRQOL for HCV-infected veterans not receiving antiviral therapy. Screening and treatment of psychosocial factors is recommended.

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