IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12540: The Lived Experience of Patients Utilizing Second-Generation Direct-Acting Antiviral for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Phenomenological Analysis (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Hepatitis C is a global public health problem, and the aim of this study was to understand the experiences of patients with hepatitis C using second-generation antivirals. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten outpatients, cognitively capable of reporting their experience, followed up at a university clinic. Field diaries kept during the interviews were also used. The researchers carried out a thematic analysis to identify the ways in which individuals experienced their medication; then, these ways were reorganized to encompass the essential structures of the experience. The patients experienced the use of DAAs as providing resolution and it was permeated by: the experience of time—stagnant time, waiting for medication and the cure; the experience of spaces, understood as necessary and imposed spaces; the experience of relationships with others, personified by the support provided by healthcare professionals; the experience of sexuality, when patients developed several coping strategies to deal with the challenges imposed by the treatment. To conclude, increasing the knowledge about the patients’ experiences can contribute to improve the healthcare model for hepatitis C, since several patients have severe hepatic impairment, and the eradication of the virus is only one of the stages of patients’ treatments.