Impact of a Targeted Intervention on Hepatitis C Care Among African Americans With Serious Mental Illness

Emily Heinlein, Jessica Taylor, Richard Goldberg, Wendy Potts, Jill RachBeisel, Deborah Medoff, Lan Li, Seth Himelhoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to update findings on the continuum of care for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with follow-up data for individuals with serious mental illness and to identify predictors of decisions to decline vaccination. Methods: The screening, testing, immunization, risk reduction, and referral (STIRR) intervention has been shown to increase testing and immunization rates. Prevalence of HCV diagnoses, HCV continuum of care, and hepatitis A (HAV) and B (HBV) vaccination were evaluated with laboratory results and chart review. Results: The prevalence of HCV was 15% (N540 of 270 African Americans receiving the STIRR intervention). Of the 40 individuals identified as having HCV, 75% (N530) accepted referral to treatment, of whom 47% (N514) achieved sustained virologic response. Nearly 68% (N5155) of those eligible received at least partial HAV/HBV vaccination. Conclusions: The STIRR intervention facilitated access to treatment for HCV and high acceptance of hepatitis vaccination. Avoidance proved to be a significant factor in decisions to decline vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1281
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (grant 5H79TI025796-02).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychiatric Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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