Peginterferon-alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C as assessed by a multi-institutional questionnaire in Japan

Hepatol Res. 2010 Jun;40(6):557-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2010.00666.x.


Background and aim: There has so far been no questionnaire report on patients who were treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin (PEG IFN+RBV) therapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the problems of this therapy by a questionnaire survey.

Patients and methods: A survey of 681 patients with chronic hepatitis C who received treatment with PEG IFN+RBV was conducted in the Kyushu region of Japan. Using an original questionnaire, the survey was conducted prior to the treatment, during the third month of treatment, at the completion of treatment or the discontinuation of treatment, and at 6 months after the completion of treatment.

Results: It was indicated that the patients had a high level of comprehension and understanding of chronic hepatitis C and PEG IFN+RBV treatment. However, the results also indicated that patients had a high level of anxiety. Side effects were adequately dealt with by physicians. However, dermatological symptoms were not adequately explained to the patients, although they were the second most severe side-effect. It was also revealed that side-effects were most distressing during the first and second months after the start of treatment.

Conclusion: The questionnaire survey provided new information that has never been reported. It is believed that understanding this information is important for future treatment.