HEPscreen > What can we do about it? > Ways to offer screening > Improving opportunistic testing in primary care

Improving opportunistic testing in primary care

Primary health care professionals, such as GPs, community/practice nurses and public/sexual health nurses and doctors, are well-placed and trusted to offer testing for hepatitis B/C to patients with a migrant backgroud (i.e. people born in a medium/high endemic country) who visit their services.

To support primary care providers to offer opportunistic testing, HEPscreen have produced three educational resources about viral hepatitis screening.

The first resources is about who to test and why. It is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish and includes the topics:

  • Epidemiology and the role of migration in contributing to the burden of viral hepatitis in Europe;

  • In which countries is HBV/HCV more common;

  • What the main transmission routes are in these areas;

  • Why it is important to offer screening to people from these areas that attend health care services.

The second resource is about what to discuss about viral hepatitis when offering screening to people born in endemic countries including how to be culturally and linguistically appropriate. It is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

The final resource is focused on how to test including how to interpret diagnostic/serological tests and what to do when people test positive, including the importance of referral to specialist care of specific patient groups. This is only available in English.

Further resources

  • Anderson EM, Mandeville RP, Hutchinson SJ, Cameron SO, Mills PR, Fox R, et al. Evaluation of a general practice based hepatitis C virus screening intervention. Scottish medical journal 2009;54(3): 3-7.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19728405
  • D’Souza RF, Glynn MJ, Alstead E, Osonayo C, Foster GR. Knowledge of chronic hepatitis C among East London primary care physicians following the Department of Health’s educational campaign. QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 2004;97(6): 331-336.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15152106
  • Guirgis M, Yan K, Bu YM, Zekry A. General practitioners’ knowledge and management of viral hepatitis in the migrant population. Internal medicine journal 2012;42(5): 497-504.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299780
  • Watson L, Bond C, Gault C. A survey of community pharmacists on prevention of HIV and hepatitis B and C: current practice and attitudes in Grampian. Journal of public health medicine 2003;25(1): 13-18.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12669912
  • Zickmund SL, Brown KE, Bielefeldt K. A systematic review of provider knowledge of hepatitis C: is it enough for a complex disease? Digestive diseases and sciences 2007;52(10): 2550-2556.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17406823
  • Feasibility of joint HIV, HBV and HCV testing offered routinely by General Practitioners during one week in two French counties in 2012. Poster presented to HepHIV in Europe Conference October 2014. Download the poster presentation here.