Preventing, identifying and treating hepatitis C
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Preventing, identifying and treating hepatitis C

Helen Caldwell , Nurse consultant in hepatology, Royal Liverpool University Hospital NHS Trust, Liverpool, England

Why you should read this article
  • To enhance your knowledge of the diagnosis and progression of, and risk factors for, hepatitis C

  • To understand the nurses’ role in the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C

  • To be aware of the challenges in identifying hepatitis C and supporting patients to access treatment

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that, if left untreated, can result in significant liver damage and cancer. Most individuals are unaware that they have been infected with the hepatitis C virus and remain asymptomatic, which makes early diagnosis challenging. While the virus will spontaneously clear in some individuals, the majority will develop chronic hepatitis C. This article provides nurses with an overview of hepatitis C and how it is transmitted. It details the available treatments, and examines the challenges involved in early identification and access to treatment, as well as outlining the barriers to treatment and how these can be overcome. This article also discusses the role of the nurse in the management of people with hepatitis C and in addressing their complex needs.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11321


Caldwell H (2018) Preventing, identifying and treating hepatitis C. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11321

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 08 January 2019

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