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Correlates of hazardous drinking among Veterans with and without hepatitis C.

Oser M, Cucciare M, McKellar J, Weingardt K. Correlates of hazardous drinking among Veterans with and without hepatitis C. Journal of behavioral medicine. 2012 Dec 1; 35(6):634-41.

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Hazardous drinking is a major barrier to antiviral treatment eligibility among hepatitis C (HCV) patients. We evaluated differences in substance-related coping, drinking-related consequences, and importance and confidence in ability to change alcohol use among hazardous drinkers with and without HCV (N  =  554; 93.5% male). We examined group differences between HCV+ patients (n  =  43) and their negative HCV counterparts (n  =  511). Results indicate a higher percentage of HCV+ patients report using substances to cope with possible symptoms of PTSD (P  <  .05) and depression (P  <  .01), and endorse more lifetime drinking-related negative consequences than HCV patients (P  <  .01). Furthermore, HCV+ patients place greater importance on changing alcohol use (P  <  .01) but report less confidence in their ability to change (P  <  .01). Use of brief assessment and feedback with skills-based interventions to decrease alcohol use may be well-received by HCV+ patients.

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