Hepatitis C knowledge and training among people working in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Author: Scallan E, Calder R, Treloar C, Dyer KR

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2018

In Great Britain, the majority of hepatitis C (HCV) infection is attributable to the injection of
drugs. While alcohol and other drug (AOD) services are effective tools for linking people who
inject drugs (PWID) to care, further examination of workforce knowledge and training is
needed in order to reduce gaps in the HCV care cascade.
A survey examining HCV knowledge and workforce training needs was distributed to
employees of five AOD treatment providers in Great Britain.
Of 115 participants, 71 (62%) reported having received no HCV training or expressed desire
for additional training. Participants demonstrated a range of low (25%), medium (44%) and
high (31%) knowledge about HCV. The likelihood of being in a higher knowledge category
was associated with having received sufficient HCV training [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) =
0.19, 95% confidence interval CI (0.05, 0.71)] and not carrying a caseload [AOR = 0.38, 95%
CI (0.15, 0.98)]. Forty percent of participants incorrectly reported that there is no curative
treatment for HCV. Knowledge of the HCV cure was associated with a longer time working in
the field [AOR = 1.11, 95% CI (1.02, 1.20)] and not carrying a caseload [AOR = 4.85, 95% CI
(1.88, 12.49)].
Overall, knowledge scores were variable. There are significant gaps in knowledge and
training among AOD workers, particularly those carrying a caseload. A high number of
participants were unaware of the curative treatment for HCV. Targeted training is required
for the AOD workforce to ensure that people living with HCV are effectively linked to care.
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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