Perceptions and patient care needs among hepatitis B patients during COVID-19

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



BMC health services research








COVID-19; HBV; Hepatitis B virus; Patients; Prevention; Racial and ethnic minorities; Resources


BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) has been and continues to be a rapidly developing public health crisis, that has also disrupted routine and maintenance health care for people living with chronic conditions. Some of these chronic conditions also put individuals at increased risk of COVID-19 complications, particularly if the condition is not under control. For these reasons, the exploratory study reported here examined the needs and preparedness of patients at a community health organization that specifically provides hepatitis B virus (HBV) care for high-risk groups that had previously tested positive for HBV. METHODS: Current study utilized exploratory analysis of qualitative COVID-19-related statements collected during calls to a total of 44 patients reached during April and May, 2020 in the Washington D.C. area. Researchers worked with a community based non-profit organization to reach current HBV + and HCV + patients to provide retention in care and assess patient needs in maintaining management of their condition adapted to include offering medication refills, telehealth, and other resources. We gathered emergent themes, using socio-ecological framework, regarding capacity and needs for managing their chronic condition in a vulnerable population during the initial, most interrupted, time period of a global public health crisis. RESULTS: From the notes of the calls, five thematic categories emerged: COVID-19 prevention awareness, assistance program access, medical resource access, access to knowledge and awareness about assistance programs, and needs and barriers. From these five themes, providers can develop strategies to better prepare their patients and provide care to patients with chronic conditions during major disruptions. CONCLUSIONS: Future recommendations include increasing hepatitis and COVID-19 vaccine efforts, collaborating with community partners, and screening and understanding social determinants of health that affect racial and ethnic minorities.


Nursing Faculty Publications