The Importance of a Prior Psychiatric Examination in Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin Combination Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C

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Abstract

Some patients receiving pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C are forced to discontinue the treatment due to psychiatric disorders. We performed a retrospective study to evaluate whether pre-treatment psychiatric examinations could increase successful completion rates for this treatment. Methods: A total of 535 patients who started pegylated interferon-α-2b and ribavirin treatment at 6 hospitals affiliated with our hospital were included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups. Those who had visited a psychiatric clinic before treatment were Group A (N=223), and those who did not visit a psychiatric clinic before treatment were Group B (N=312). We analyzed the rate of discontinuation due to psychiatric disorders in the two groups. Results: The rate of discontinuation due to psychiatric disorders in Group A was found to be significantly lower than that of Group B (1.8% (4⁄223) vs. 6.1% (19⁄312), P=0.035). In Group A, 6.1% (4⁄65) discontinued the treatment due to psychiatric disorders, while the comparable rate in Group B was 27% (19⁄68) (P=0.0004). Among patients who presented with psychiatric symptoms during treatment, the rate of treatment completion was significantly higher in Group A than in Group B (69.2% (18⁄26) vs. 5.0% (1⁄20), P=0.0067). In patients with a history of psychiatric symptoms, no discontinuation due to psychiatric disorder was observed in Group A. Conclusions: A psychiatric examination before pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment was found to positively contribute to the successful completion of the treatment.

Journal

  • The Kurume Medical Journal

    The Kurume Medical Journal 59(3.4), 39-44, 2012

    Kurume University School of Medicine

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