Life after Hepatitis C – An Education Package

Author: Gail Hawthorne, Nicola Sweeney, Blathin Cotter

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2023

Description of model of care/intervention:
As part of the National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme (NHCTP), a pilot was established, where patients received Direct Acting Antiviral therapy in HSE Drug Treatment Centres.
Having provided care and education for over a year we identified a gap in the care pathway; we felt we lacked a method to efficiently, accurately and consistently measure the patients’ retention and accuracy of education given during HCV treatment. In conjunction, we also addressed the need for development of staff education programmes

By assimilating feedback from service user and staff questionnaires, feedback forms and focus groups as well as implementing small tests of change via PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) cycles. 

Key findings:
 Patient Education:
• Retention and accuracy of these points varied and needed standard assessment.
• Visual and written prompts were useful for the patients.
• Peer education is frequently used.
• Relevant, brief interventions increased patients’ willingness to engage.
 Staff Education:
• Different disciplines demonstrated varying skill sets.
• Standardisation of information and terms used improved quality of multidisciplinary education and is a valuable part of effective education and harm reduction before, during and after HCV treatment.
• Visual and written prompts were useful for staff.

The final education piece was condensed down to three salient prompt points.
• GONE: Understanding of viral status
• STAY GONE: Re-infection risks
• KEEP YOUR LIVER HEALTHY: Safeguarding future liver health.

Certified training and a single page double-sided prompt sheet for staff giving the education were developed
 A leaflet for patients with the three salient points which we needed them to understand at the end of their treatment

 Streamlined and consistent education was of benefit to patients and staff

Conclusion and next steps:
Our initial Ideas of how this project would evolve differed significantly when we asked the service user and staff for their input- they steered our project.
These ‘three points’ are now ingrained into our education programme and written resource  sheets are used by our staff and Information sheets given to service users.

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