Adherence interventions may help patients with hepatitis C

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Adherence interventions for patients with chronic hepatitis C may improve patient adherence to prescribed medication and treatment plans and achieving a virological response, according to a new research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. However, evidence is too limited to draw firm conclusions.  Existing literature consistently shows that increasing adherence to hepatitis C treatment is associated with improved likelihood of achieving a virological response. But adherence to treatment is challenging because of the lengthy duration, complex treatment regimen, and frequent adverse events associated with therapies. As such, efforts to improve treatment adherence in hepatitis C are needed.

Some evidence suggests that patient-level and regimen-related interventions improved medication and treatment plan adherence when compared with standard care. These interventions included patient support groups and therapeutic education, as well as special drug packaging with instructions (i.e., RibaPak) to reduce pill load. However, while findings look promising for clinical practice, the uncertain evidence suggests that caution should be used when applying them to patient care. These findings can be found in the research review Interventions To Improve Patient Adherence to Hepatitis C Treatment: A Comparative Effectiveness Review. This and other reviews can be found on AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program Web site at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.

Page last reviewed April 2013
Internet Citation: Adherence interventions may help patients with hepatitis C: Comparative Effectiveness Research. April 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/13apr/0413RA29.html