June 2010, Volume 33 Number 6 , p 414 - 420
The purpose of this study was to determine factors that influence the frequency of hospital clinic visits for hepatitis C patients in Taiwan and identify data related to healthcare-seeking behaviors of patients by using a developed questionnaire based on the Health Belief Model. Consistent clinic visits for follow-up and treatment are required of the hepatitis C patient to be compliant with therapy guidelines. Recent studies targeted only Western communities in which hepatitis C is nonepidemic, unlike hepatitis C virus-endemic regions of Taiwan where patients may exhibit 10¨C20 times higher seroprevalence. Influences on hospital clinic visit attendance were identified as educational level, income, and aspartate aminotransferase level at diagnosis. Perceived benefits from and barriers to action were similar among the 390 evaluable subjects at various frequencies of hospital clinic visits (both p > .05); however, subjects who visited the hospital clinic between 1 and 6 months exhibited significantly higher scores of perceived susceptibility to disease and severity of disease than those who visited the hospital clinic at 7¨C9 months or less often (all p ¡Ü .001). Findings lay the foundation for future studies to address strategies to increase compliance with treatment regimens for Taiwanese patients with hepatitis C.