The aim of this project is to explore and describe the period following completion of interferon-based treatment for hepatitis C infection with a focus on documenting persistent treatment-related psychiatric and physical after effects.
Recently, significantly increased numbers of people have sought treatment for hepatitis C infection in Australia in line with public health efforts to increase access to treatment. This therapeutic regimen is associated with significant physical and psychiatric impacts and many people discontinue treatment as a result. Over the past decade anecdotal reports and a small amount of published clinical literature have sited persistent neuro-toxicity resulting in manic depression and other ongoing psychiatric and physical adverse events from interferon-based treatments among people who have both successfully completed treatment and discontinued treatment. This qualitative study will use in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore and describe the persistent impacts of interferon-based treatments for hepatitis C infection among a diverse sample of 30 people who have completed treatment during the previous year.