Among people who have used or currently use intravenous drugs, one in three young adults and three in four older adults are Hepatitis C-infected.
–Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014
Between 2.5 and 3.9 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. If left untreated, this virus typically becomes chronic and can compromise liver function. It often causes no noticeable symptoms for a long time. Identification of hepatitis C (HCV) allows for interventions that can improve patients’ quality of life for years to come, preventing chronic infections and liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer.
Because HCV is bloodborne, healthcare professionals working with people who have injected substances intravenously need to know how to speak to their patients about it. Other factors can put a patient at risk as well. Using the techniques of Motivational Interviewing help providers and patients identify an individual’s needs and desires, and steer the patient toward intrinsically motivated positive health choices.
The New England ATTC, the Northeast & Caribbean ATTC, and IRETA (the former National SBIRT ATTC) have collaborated to create the six video vignettes below as a component of the ATTC Network’s HCV Current Initiative. The HCV Current Initiative provides materials to help health professionals address patients’ needs in the evolving field of HCV treatment. The New England and National SBIRT ATTCs developed, filmed, and edited the videos. The Northeast & Caribbean ATTC served as a subject matter expert in the development of the scripts for the vignettes.
Motivational Interviewing Videos
Learn through example by watching any of six following vignettes. Each unique scenario features a trained motivational interviewer speaking with a patient at risk for hepatitis C. The videos represent a diverse group of backgrounds and life experiences.
Through MI, the interviewers help their patients develop intrinsic motivation to receive HCV testing and to feel positive about making responsible health decisions.
Age 66. He prides himself on being health conscious. Henry briefly used heroin while stationed overseas during the Vietnam war.
Age 25. Now on methadone, Jorge engaged in sex work during his years addicted to opioids, though he doesn’t like to talk about it.
Age 30. Since breaking up with his partner, Tony has been depressed. He is concerned about an infection following unprotected sex.
Age 26. Visiting the doctor for an unrelated injury, Concetta learns that her tattoo put her at risk for HCV.
Age 24. A near-fatal car accident motivated Eddie to stop using intravenous heroin, and he is now doing well on Suboxone.
Age 23. A syringe found hidden in her husband’s clothes is worrying Eva. She is concerned about HIV and whether they can safely start a family.
Hepatitis C Current Initiative: Training, provider tools, resources
HCV Current is a national initiative among the ATTC Regional Centers. Sponsored by SAMHSA, it aims to increase HCV knowledge among medical and behavioral health professionals, especially staff at federally qualified health centers.
Pocket Card for Hepatitis C
Don’t worry about missing any steps with this pocket card that reminds providers how to discuss HVC test results with their patients. One side features a visual of the testing algorithm, the other has instructions for how to talk about results.
Shaping Up Your Motivational Interviewing Skills
Featuring Dr. Kate Speck, this webinar covers general motivational interviewing skills.
Local training resources can be located via an interactive map. Select your region of the United States and find a location convenient to you that offers in-person training on HCV topics. Every state is covered by one of these regions.