Self-efficacy and adherence to antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;49(1):76-83. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000055.


Goals: To investigate the role of self-efficacy (SE) during hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment.

Background: Adherence to chronic HCV treatment is critical. SE is an important predictor of medication adherence in a number of chronic disease populations and medication regimens, but its role during HCV treatment remains unknown.

Study: Data from the prospective Virahep-C study were analyzed to examine relationships between SE and patient-driven deviations (ie, missed doses measured using electronic pill caps, and nonpersistence) from adherence to HCV antiviral treatment. SE was measured using the 17-item HCV Treatment Self-Efficacy scale. This measure provides a global estimate of a patient's confidence to undergo and adhere to HCV treatment, and can estimate SE in 4 underlying domains: communication SE (ie, confidence to communicate with health care provider), physical coping SE (ie, confidence to cope with physical side effects), psychological coping SE (ie, confidence to cope with psychiatric side effects), and treatment adherence SE (ie, confidence to take all medications as prescribed and attend doctor visits). Generalized estimating equations and Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess associations between SE and missed doses and nonpersistence, respectively.

Results: SE was associated with being in a relationship, educated, privately insured, and less depressed. Higher communication SE at TW24 reduced the risk of missed doses between TW24 and TW48. Higher baseline treatment adherence SE reduced the likelihood of nonpersistence between baseline and TW24.

Conclusions: SE's relationship to HCV treatment adherence has promising clinical and research implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communication
  • Depression / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / psychology
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Interferons / therapeutic use
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use
  • Self Efficacy*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • Interferons