Abstract: Hepatitis C infection is a growing public health concern, exacerbated by the opioid epidemic that continues to make headlines in Southwestern Pennsylvania and across the United States. With the primary means of transmission being blood borne from percutaneous exposure, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is most commonly spread among injection drug users through unsafe injection practices. Although measures are being taken to aid individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) access efficacious treatments for cessation, such as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), few SUD treatment programs incorporate a hepatitis C education curriculum emphasizing how to prevent infection and transmission of HCV. A group of individuals that often end up being overlooked when considering the long-term burden of HCV infection are pregnant women and their unborn babies, potentially because of the stigma around drug use and pregnancy. There is a need to intervene to improve birth outcomes and improve postpartum HCV treatment adherence in women with SUD.
The proposed public health intervention will incorporate an educational booklet that is based on the Information-Motivation-Behavioral skills (IMB) model. This self-guided booklet will be given to women at risk for pregnancy who are currently involved in SUD treatment in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, and will contain HCV prevention and treatment information, as well as a daily paper diary to be incorporated into their treatment to potentially yield better outcomes because of the behavioral motivation. The ‘Baby and Me, Without Hep C’ booklet program will be a low-cost way for already established pregnancy/SUD centers to potentially lessen the burden of HVC infection on mothers and babies.
Advisor: Dr. Derrick Matthews
Last Updated On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Abby Kincaid
Created On Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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