Treatment of hepatitis C infection in an internal medicine residency continuity clinic: Resident perspectives and patient outcomes


Introduction: Studies have demonstrated that primary care clinicians can achieve the same excellent outcomes in treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) infection as specialist physicians but there is a dearth of literature on experiences and outcomes of treatment of HCV infection in residency clinics. We sought to describe the perspectives of internal medicine resident physicians in one community-based residency program toward treating HCV infection before and after launching treatment of HCV infection within the residency clinic. Further, this study examined outcomes of patients treated by the resident physicians.

Methods: Treatment of HCV infection was initiated in 2019. Residents were invited to complete a baseline survey. Residents who treated at least one patient with HCV infection were invited to complete a subsequent survey. Comparative analysis was performed using Fisher's Exact test. Sustained virologic response at least 12 weeks (SVR-12) after completion of treatment in patients initiated on therapy in the residency clinic was assessed.

Results: Residents (n = 12) who treated patients for HCV infection reported significantly greater knowledge in evaluating and treating patients with HCV infection and preparedness to provide this care after residency than residents (n = 34) who completed the baseline survey (p < 0.001). Twenty-six patients were initiated on direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy. All 21 patients who were tested achieved SVR-12.

Conclusions: Training resident physicians to evaluate and treat HCV infection can improve outcomes for underserved patients in residency clinics while preparing a pool of physicians to provide this care after residency.



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