Hepatitis C virus screening in hospitals– International recommendations and risks for HCV infections for health care professionals
Project leaders: Brigitte Piso
Project period: April 2016 – September 2016
Publication: Decision Support Document No. 102: http://eprints.hta.lbg.ac.at/1103/
Hepatitis C is an infectious viral disease of the liver that is notifiable in Austria. The consequences of an infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are a damage of the liver cells or a failure of organ function. Transmission is primarily through direct contact with contaminated blood. There are acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C. The current prevalence of hepatitis C in the Austrian population is estimated at about 30,000 to 45,000 people. In addition to previously available combination therapies, new drugs to treat hepatitis C in Austria have been available since the end of 2014. Apart from people with risk behaviour profiles certain health professionals are considered to be particularly at risk for a HCV infection.
This project aims at describing the benefit and risk of HCV screening in hospitals for patients and health professionals. To this end, the following research questions shall be answered:
- Which HCV screening measures are currently in use in Austrian hospitals?
- According to the literature available what is the HCV infection risk of people in health professions? Which conclusions can be drawn for the Austrian context?
Which international HCV screening recommendations from evidence-based guidelines are available for persons with/ without clinical indications resp. risks?
- Which screening methods do evidence-based guidelines recommend?
- Which screening benefits and which screening harms are linked to HCV screenings for several target groups (patients with/ without clinical indications, health care staff)?
Ad Question 1) Austrian expert contacts;
Ad Question 2) Search and analysis of statistical information (e.g. data from Austrian institutions such as AGES, AUVA, Ministry of Health, Statistik Austria) as well as systematic literature search (particular focus on systematic reviews);
Ad Question 3) Systematic literature search in the G-I-N- and National Guideline Clearinghouse-Database, both covering evidence-based guidelines (where appropriate the consideration of other international guideline institutions such as USPSTF, CTFPHC, CDC, the German AWMF) as well as handsearch and websearch. Restriction to guidelines including the new hepatitis C therapies.
Schedule / milestones:
April – May 2016: scoping, project protocol
June – August 2016: web search, expert contacts, literature search, data analysis
September 2016: internal and external review of the project report, publication of the report
 http://bmg.gv.at/home/Schwerpunkte/Krankheiten/Hepatitis/, download on 25.04.2016
 https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXV/AB/AB_06355/imfname_487252.pdf, download on 25.04.2016