Date of Award

4-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Department

College of Nursing

Abstract

Hepatitis C is a major international health care dilemma, occurring frequently in populations who suffer from other health care disparities. Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection and the leading cause of liver disease in the United States (U.S.), causing 10,000-12,000 deaths per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (2008), up to 3.9 million people are affected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) within the US. Estimates suggest that 75% of those affected with the HCV are unaware of their diagnosis, and of those, only one in four people are offered treatment. Some researchers suggest that all US residents born between 1946 and 1970 be screened for hepatitis C over a 5-year period.

The HCV carries an estimated financial burden of $10.7 billion nationally, and $377 million in Michigan alone. Barriers to treatment include the lack of qualified healthcare providers and treatment programs; rigorous treatment regimens and significant medication side effects; psychosocial challenges include mental illness; addiction; stigmatization; and insufficient healthcare coverage. The purpose of this project was improve access and care for individuals with hepatitis C in an undeserved area.

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