Publications & Reports

Hepatitis B-Related Concerns and Anxieties Among People With Chronic Hepatitis B in Australia.

Hajarizadeh B, Richmond J, Ngo N, Lucke J, Wallace J
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; The Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia (University of New South Wales), Sydney, Australia.


BACKGROUND: The psychological wellbeing of people with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) may be negatively affected due to the chronic and transmissible nature of the disease, and possible serious complications (e.g. cirrhosis and liver cancer). There are limited data investigating concerns and anxieties among people living with CHB. OBJECTIVES: This study examined feelings about having hepatitis B among people with CHB, including hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using convenience sampling, people with CHB attending four public liver clinics and one general practice in three Australian jurisdictions between April and September 2013 completed a self-administered questionnaire about their feelings about having hepatitis B. RESULTS: Ninety-three people completed the survey. Mean age was 45 years, 57% were men, and 93% were born overseas (75% from Asia). Seventy-six percent of participants reported having hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties. The most common concerns were of developing liver cancer (57%), and infecting other people (53%). Thirty-five percent of participants were unwilling to talk to anyone about their hepatitis B while 25% changed how they lived as a result of having hepatitis B. Lower educational level was associated with feeling scared of hepatitis B (adjusted Odds Ratio [OR]: 4.04; 95%CI: 1.09, 14.90; P = 0.04), and an unwillingness to talk to anyone about hepatitis B (adjusted OR: 4.41; 95%CI: 1.09, 17.83; P = 0.04). Very good English proficiency was associated with a higher likelihood of participants changing how they lived (adjusted OR: 12.66; 95%CI: 2.21, 72.42; P < 0.01), and seeing life differently as a result of having hepatitis B (adjusted OR: 21.10; 95%CI: 3.70, 120.19; P < 0.01). Health professionals were the key person for 34% of participants in helping them cope with having hepatitis B, while 18% reported that no one supported them. CONCLUSIONS: Hepatitis B-related concerns and anxieties are prevalent among people with CHB. Clinical management of people with CHB must address their psychological support needs as an essential component of comprehensive care.


  • Journal: Hepatitis Monthly
  • Published: 01/06/2016
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 6
  • Pagination: e35566