Published online Jun 14, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i22.3459
Revised: April 2, 2013
Accepted: April 10, 2013
Published online: June 14, 2013
AIM: To measure patient perceptions about preventing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to predict the factors that influence patient willingness to receive therapy.
METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted at an outpatient clinic of a medical institution in southern Taiwan. Four hundred patients with chronic hepatitis B/C were recruited as participants. Two structured questionnaires based on the health belief model were utilized in this study, including the scales of perceptions about preventing HCC and knowledge of hepatitis B/C.
RESULTS: The statistical results demonstrated that the participants’ perceived susceptibility (r = -0.22, P < 0.001), benefits (r = -0.11, P = 0.028) and cues to action (r = -0.12, P = 0.014) about the prevention of HCC was significantly correlated with their age. The participants’ perceptions were also associated with their educational levels, household incomes and knowledge of hepatitis. Older patients and those with a lower socioeconomic status tended to have negative perceptions and less knowledge of hepatitis. Multivariate logistic regression further indicated that the participants’ age (B = -0.044, SE = 0.017, odds ratio = 0.957, P = 0.008, 95%CI: 0.926-0.989) and perceived barriers (B = -0.111, SE = 0.030, odds ratio = 0.895, P < 0.001, 95%CI: 0.845-0.949) were correlated with their willingness to receive antiviral therapy.
CONCLUSION: Healthcare professionals should provide appropriate and effective guidance to increase their patients’ awareness and to decrease the perceived barriers for continuing surveillance and antiviral therapy.
Core tip: Chronic hepatitis B/C carriers may benefit from regular surveillance for allowing an early diagnose of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In addition, raising awareness of and health perceptions about HCC, and increasing willingness to receive antiviral therapy for preventing the development of HCC are crucial in patients with chronic hepatitis B/C, particularly in rural areas.