When diagnosed with Hepatitis C, people often feel alone and stigmatized. They have many questions and need accurate information about Hepatitis C, possible disease outcomes and treatment options.
Support groups show that members are not dealing with HCV alone. They offer positive encouragement, companionship and provide the education and support to members that their medical providers may not have the time to discuss in detail. These meetings provide patients with the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns among their peers. Well run support groups reinforce compliance with members’ medical care and treatment plans. They encourage a positive lifestyle.
While treatment for Hepatitis C has become more tolerable, there are still patients who do not understand the disease and have concerns and questions.
Well facilitated Hepatitis C support groups allow patients to manage the disease with knowledge, strength and fellowship.
Patient support groups have been shown to be an important adjunct to medical care. They can reduce overall healthcare costs and improve medical outcomes. Support groups can improve the quality of life of individual patients.
A revolution in the treatment of Hepatitis C is underway. New generation (DAA’s) direct-acting antivirals have recently become available and an even more promising new class of drugs is in development and testing. These drugs promise a cure. Now that these drugs are becoming available, medical providers are experiencing an overwhelming demand for treatment. This has put a strain on medical resources, leaving medical providers little time to provide all the education and support patients require. Well facilitated support groups will help manage increased patient demand by providing an important peer support and mentoring component of care.
Support groups are an essential part of the unfolding revolution in the treatment of Hepatitis C.