Mental and physical health status among chronic hepatitis B patients

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Quality of life research


PURPOSE: Little is known about health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (CHB) infection in the United States. Our goal is to understand factors associated with HRQoL in this population.

METHODS: We conducted a survey to assess HRQoL and behavioral risks among patients with CHB infection from four large U.S. health care systems. Primary outcomes were generated from the SF-8 scale to assess HRQoL, as measured by the mental component scores (MCS) and physical component scores (PCS). The survey also measured socio-demographic information, hepatitis-related behavioral risk factors, treatment exposure/history, stress, and social support. We supplemented survey data with electronic health records data on patient income, insurance, disease severity, and comorbidities. Multivariate analysis was used to estimate and compare adjusted least square means of MCS and PCS, and examine which risk factors were associated with lower MCS and PCS.

RESULTS: Nine hundred sixty-nine patients (44.6%) responded to the survey. Current life stressors and unemployment were associated with both lower MCS and PCS results in multivariate analyses. Lower MCS was also associated with White race and low social support, while lower PCS was also associated with Medicaid insurance.

CONCLUSIONS: Stressful life events and unemployment were related to mental and physical health status of CHB patients. Those who have social support have better mental health; White and Medicaid patients are more likely to have poorer mental and physical health, respectively. Management of CHB patients should include stress management, social support, and financial or employment assistance.

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ePub ahead of print