Publications & Reports

Hepatitis B testing and diagnosis experiences of patients and primary care professionals in Australia.

Richmond J, Smith E, Wallace J, Duncan D, Lucke J
PhD, MPH, RN, is Research Fellow, La Trobe University, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, Melbourne, Victoria.


OBJECTIVE: A significant proportion of Australians with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) remains undiagnosed and unaware of their risk of liver disease and cancer. This study explored the hepatitis B testing and diagnostic experiences of people with CHB, general practitioners (GPs) and primary care nurses. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with people who have CHB (n = 19), GPs (n = 14) and nurses (n = 5). RESULTS: The majority of patient participants with CHB were not provided with information prior to being tested, and were shocked to receive a diagnosis. Neither GPs nor nurses noted Australia’s National hepatitis B testing policy as guiding their practice, and hepatitis B con-tact tracing was poorly executed. DISCUSSION: Patient participants' diagnostic experiences did not correspond with national policy recommendations. GPs and nurses need resources to provide accurate information when testing and diagnosing hepatitis B, and clear guidance about their role in contact tracing.


  • Journal: Australian Family Physician
  • Published: 01/07/2017
  • Volume: 46
  • Issue: 7
  • Pagination: 513-519