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Arch Hellen Med, 18(3), May-June 2001, 288-296


Α comparative study of the quality of life of patients with hepatitis C

University of Athens, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE This was a comparative study of the quality of life of patients with hepatitis C of a moderated degree without cirrhosis treated with inteferon α-2b. The effect of the treatment on the patients' general health was examined.

METHOD The study took place in Athens in the period 1995-2000. The sample was composed of 280 patients with moderate hepatitis C without cirrhosis who had been treated with interferon α-2b for a period of 6 months. The instrument used for this study was the SF-36 health interview survey. The SF-36 questionnaires were filled out during personal interviews with the patients conducted by their treating physicians. The control group was a general population sample composed of 307 people who were randomly selected.

RESULTS Statistical analysis of the collected questionnaires showed that 18% of the patients with hepatitis C considered themselves to be in excellent health, while a corresponding 22.8% of the general population thought the same. The patients scored the same on the physical functioning scales as the general population and also on the mental functioning scales (for P=0.01 vitality z=1.38, social functioning z=1.43, emotional role z=0.22, mental health z=2.28). On the other hand, the patients showed lower scorings on the physical role scale with an average of 73.5 compared to the 83.7 average of the general population (P=0.01 z=2.69), on the physical pain scale, with an average of 78 compared to 83.5 (P=0.01 z=3.01), and on the general health scale, with an average of 62.3 compared to 68.7 in the general population (P=0.01 z=3.84).

CONCLUSIONS The patients with chronic hepatitis C on a pharmaceutical treatment regime with interferon α-2b show high scores on the mental functioning scales of the SF-36 health interview survey but lower scores on the physical functioning scales which influences the subjective assessment of their total health state.

Key words: Chronic hepatitis C, Efficiency, Quality of life.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine