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Pre & post test discussions

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Pre & post test discussions

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									 Pre & post test
      discussions
FACTSHEET 25                                           Hepatitis Council of Qld

                                                                             •    An overview of possible support options
                                                                                  should you have the test, and it comes back
           The way a health care worker describes                                 positive.
  viral hepatitis can strongly influence how you
                                                                          What information should be included
  interpret what it means to have hepatitis. Pre                          in pre-test discussions?
 and post test discussions are vital in providing
                                                                             •    The virus and its history, routes of
  you with a sense of control over your own
                                                                                  transmission and strategies to prevent
                   health and wellbeing                                           transmission;
                                                                             •    The antibody test and its limitations;
                                                                             •    The meaning of a positive, negative or
What are pre-test discussions?                                                    unclear test result;
                                                                             •    An explanation of the range of outcomes of
Pre-test discussions are generally done so that                                   living with viral hepatitis—including advice
your GP or healthcare worker can assess if you                                    that, in many cases, hepatitis does not have
are, or have been, at risk of contracting viral                                   a serious outcome and that if the test is
hepatitis. Pre-test discussions should include the                                positive, monitoring may be the only action
following:                                                                        required;


                   “It’s probably better now, but my initial diagnosis was
                   traumatic due to the lack of information on the GP’s part.
                   The GP was supportive but ill-informed. After being
                   diagnosed it took us years to come to terms with it”

                                                                             •    Explanation of treatment, including access
 •     An explanation of the clinical signs and                                   through Section 100 of the Pharmaceutical
       symptoms that led your GP to suspect you                                   Benefits Scheme (PBS);
       might have hepatitis;                                                 •    The role of liver clinics;
 •     Information on the benefits of testing;                               •    Discussion on the social impact of living
 •     Information on the test being used, and the                                with hepatitis, including the impact different
       possible consequences of a negative or                                     cultural beliefs and practices may have;
       positive result;                                                      •    The implications of a positive test result;
 •     Information on the testing process, including                              and
       notification and confidentiality of results;                          •    A discussion on confidentiality, in particular
 •     Enough information so that you feel you can                                a clear and full explanation of the legal
       make an informed decision about whether                                    requirements for disclosing hepatitis status.
       to have the test or not; and

      The ABC of Hepatitis Training Package is an initiative of Queensland Health through funding provided by the Commonwealth Department of
                                 Health and Ageing under the National Hepatitis C Prevention and Education Initiative

     Updated: 3 April 2009
     For more information www.hepqld.asn.au                                                                                            1 of 2
     or Hepatitis Council of Qld info line 1800 648 491
 Pre & post test
      discussions
FACTSHEET 25                                           Hepatitis Council of Qld

A written summary of the above information                                Interested in finding out more?
should be provided to you, preferably in your first                       Factsheets
language (if English is your second), and                                    • 02 Hepatitis C blood tests: antibodies &
arrangement for a post-test discussion should be                                PCR
made too.                                                                    • 03 Hepatitis C treatment: combination
                                                                                therapy
                                                                             • 05 Informed consent
What are post-test discussions?                                              • 07 Disclosure and confidentiality
                                                                             • 22 PCR test: polymerase chain reaction
Post-test discussions are about your actual test                             • 33 Support
results. They should always be given to you in                               • 35 Natural history of hepatitis B and C
person, no matter the reason for the test, or if                             • 37 Hepatitis B: what you need to know
the result is positive or negative.                                       Brochures
                                                                             • National Hepatitis C Resource Manual
If the test comes back positive, then your GP                                   (Australian Government)
should explain what this means in terms of health                            • Preparing for testing: hepatitis C (Hepatitis
maintenance and treatment options. Your GP                                      Australia)
can also arrange for counselling and support                                 • Contact: post-test information for hepatitis
options.                                                                        C (Hepatitis Australia)
                                                                             • Thinking about treatment for hepatitis C?
If the test comes back negative, then your GP                                   (Hepatitis Australia)
should provide information that will help you
remain hepatitis-free (i.e. prevention strategies).


What is the difference between                                                             Image is from Stock Exchange (www.sxc.hu/)

‘discussions’ and ‘counselling’?
Counselling refers to the longer-term support
some people with hepatitis may need. The
purpose of counselling is to provide you with
reassurance and help you work through any
difficulties. This may include:

 •     Expanding on the information about
       hepatitis given to you in pre and post-test
       discussions; and
 •     Advising you about other support services
       (such as Hepatitis Councils and support
       groups).


      The ABC of Hepatitis Training Package is an initiative of Queensland Health through funding provided by the Commonwealth Department of
                                 Health and Ageing under the National Hepatitis C Prevention and Education Initiative

     Updated: 3 April 2009
     For more information www.hepqld.asn.au                                                                                            2 of 2
     or Hepatitis Council of Qld info line 1800 648 491

								
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