There are limited data on the extent to which medical providers adhere to practice guidelines for the antiviral treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. As representative of overall provider adherence to practice guidelines, provider adherence to specific recommendations regarding rapid virologic response (RVR) was assessed.From the Department of Veterans Affairs' Clinical Case Registry, all patients with HCV genotype 1 who initiated peginterferon and ribavirin between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008 were identified. The rate of testing for RVR was determined. Patient, provider, and facility characteristics were assessed to determine the factors that predicted improved provider adherence. For patients who achieved RVR, the overall treatment duration was calculated as a secondary measure of provider adherence.About one half of the cohort (54%) had HCV RNA testing for RVR. Among several significant predictors, testing for RVR was more likely in gastroenterology/hepatology specialty clinics, by midlevel providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and in facilities with a higher volume of HCV patients. Most patients who achieved RVR completed a treatment course within the recommended range. However, 27% of the cohort received more or less than the recommended duration of treatment, thereby unnecessarily increasing their risk for adverse events or decreasing their potential for cure.More aggressive education is needed to improve provider adherence to HCV antiviral treatment guidelines and optimize the outcomes of HCV patients, especially with the recent approval of complicated direct-acting antiviral regimens.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31827035cf
View details for Web of Science ID 000314863800016
View details for PubMedID 23269309