Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a field assessment of a comprehensive counseling and testing manual for Hepatitis C (HCV). With the expansion of HCV testing, and the introduction of the rapid HCV antibody test, Hepatitis C counseling and testing may become more widespread. The manual is intended to serve as a resource for counselors who may be conducting Hepatitis C counseling and testing. The purpose of the field assessment is to obtain feedback on the manual so that it can be improved. Each participant in the field assessment will be asked to review the manual, try it out with patients, and provide us with feedback on how the manual can be improved.
Purpose of the Manual
The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance for counseling and testing of individuals who are at risk for or potentially infected with hepatitis C. With the expansion of risk venue‐based HCV testing and with the introduction of the rapid HCV antibody test, hepatitis C counseling and testing may be offered in new settings and by counselors with little or no previous experience conducting HCV antibody testing.
The manual addresses a number of different topic areas including counseling for those receiving HCV testing, living with HCV, and entering treatment. The pre‐test and post‐test modules contained in this manual present a comprehensive, theory‐based approach to communicating with clients about hepatitis C.
The manual is intended to provide guidance and support to outreach staff, counselors, clinicians and others who counsel people who are being tested for hepatitis C. The modules are intended to help counsel individuals at risk of injecting drug use, and those screened as injecting drug users in venues such as STD or public health clinics.
Counselors conducting hepatitis C counseling and testing need not have specialized training in behavioral science or behavior therapy. It is essential, however, that they be empathetic, nonjudgmental and genuine in their concern for the client, even if there is only a brief period of time for personal contact.
Guidelines for Participating in the Field Assessment
Prior to using the manual, we ask that you read it through to familiarize yourself with the various modules and content. As part of the field assessment, we will ask you to do the following:
1) Use the modules on a weekly basis for four weeks with clients/patients that you would like to screen for hepatitis C. We would like you to use the modules as often as possible but with at least one patient a week. These sessions can be part of a pre-test counseling session or part of a post-test counseling session and do not necessarily need to be conducted with the same patient. We encourage you to use the modules as frequently as possible.
2) Check in with us on a weekly basis. We would like to check in with you every week to see if you have any questions about using the manual or any situations that you would like to discuss with us. This check-in can be scheduled at your convenience and can be conducted by either telephone or email. These check-ins should take no more than 10-15 minutes. The first check-in will serve as an orientation to the field assessment and will be conducted by phone.
3) Use all of the modules. We would like you to use all of the modules to gain experience using both the pre- and post-test counseling sessions. In the situation that a particular module is not used in practice (for instance, if you do not encounter a patient who is HCV positive/reactive), we would like you to engage in a “mock” counseling session using that particular module so that you can provide us with feedback on its utility. The mock counseling session can be conducted with a person of your choice.
4) Participate in a wrap-up interview. At the end of the four weeks of using the manual, we would like to set up an in-person interview with you to collect your detailed impressions of the modules and obtain your recommendations for how we can improve them. It may help you to make notes on the manual throughout the assessment period so that you can more easily recall any issues or concerns that you would like to discuss with us during the interview. The wrap up interview should be conducted within two weeks of completing the field assessment.
- $25 per week (up to 4 weeks max.) for client incentives for testing during field assesssment
- $40 to participate in one-time interview of Manual users
If you are interested in participating, please contact Gary Chovnick at Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation
Rebecca Cabral, Ph.D
Division of Viral Hepatitis
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention