Research > Psychogical impact of HCV/HIV
Project 6: Psychological impact of living with HCV
(Project Lead: M. Vallis)
Background: There is evidence to suggest that, like HIV, acquision of the HCV virus impairs QOL. For HCV, this impairment is experienced primarily through fatigue, mailaise and emotion dysregulation. Treatment of HCV with interferon and/or ribavirin also causes further psychological disturbance.
Objectives: To study the psychological impact of living with HCV for those not currently undergoing treatment as well as those undergoing treatment. Results of the study will be used to develop methods of intervention to reduce the negative psychological impact of HCV, to improve adherence to treatment and reduce dropout from treatment once it starts.
Methods: A prospective, cohort assessment study of three groups of individuals with liver disease will be undertaken: those with HCV from IDU, those with HCV from iatrogenic factors, and a comparison group of individuals with primary biliary cirrhosis. The HCV groups will be recruited such that one-half are treatment naïve and one-half are undergoing anti-viral therapy. All participants will be assessed using a battery of standardized psychological measures. The following psychological constructs will be assessed: disease-specific, health related quality of life, fatigue experience, emotional experience, personality functioning, coping resources, social support and adherence to medical treatments.
Cross Fertilization: This project will benefit greatly from the interaction of an interdisciplinary team from various sectors, including the affected population.
Funding Strategy: This project will be developed and submitted for external funding within the first year.