Assessment of methadone clinic staff attitudes toward hepatitis C evaluation and treatment
Attitude of Health Personnel
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
We used a 25-item, self-administered questionnaire to assess staff's perceived barriers and willingness to engage in onsite treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) at the Beth Israel Medical Center methadone maintenance treatment program (MMTP) at its Harlem sites. Of 80 participants, 50% were counselors and 24% were directly involved in referral or HCV testing. Although 92% of the MMTP staff indicated that they discuss HCV evaluation and treatment with patients at least annually, 70% believed that less than 25% of patients accept referral for HCV treatment and attend their initial appointment. Most staff (66%) supported onsite HCV evaluation and treatment, although support was higher among those with a bachelor's degree or higher (p = 0.046). Lack of infrastructure was perceived as the greatest obstacle to onsite treatment. Educational interventions and skill building for staff to confidently engage and support MMTP patients in HCV treatment may be necessary prerequisites for onsite HCV management in MMTPs.