Objective. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a serious health problem in Taiwan. The high dropout rate due to side effects limits the efficacy of treatment. The objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of telecare for the treatment of chronic hepatitis. Material and Methods. Two hundred and ninety-eight patients randomly chose either of the two support programs. Group 1 was offered public health nurse consultation at outpatient clinic. Group 2 was offered telecare program with 24 hours of consultation services via a health communication center. All patients were treated with standard therapy and followed up for 72 weeks. Results. Normalization of serum biochemistry was noted in both Group 1 (150 patients) and Group 2 (148 patients). The most common types of side effect in both groups were influenza-like symptoms. Patient compliance was 88% (Group 1) and 94.6% (Group 2). Total dropout cases were 18 (12%) in Group 1 and 8 (5.4%) in Group 2. The program costs were 232,632 USD (Group 1) and 112,500 USD (Group 2). Conclusion. Telecare system with health care communication center model is significant in reducing dropout rate and is more effective with easy access.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)