The post-test pathway – or what happens after testing – is crucial to the success of any screening programme or campaign. It can also be the most challenging part. Tips from the HEPscreen pilot studies include:
- Involve secondary care specialists in the Hepatology or Gastroenterology department in the Hospital in the planning and implementation. This helps to establish a formal conduit between screening and treatment services. It can also aid data collection on follow up.
- Simplify referral pathways and minimise steps where people can drop out or get lost.
- Consider socio-economic vulnerability – poverty, insecure housing and employment, a lack of access to health care, fear of legal implications – as these can be real barriers to reaching secondary care. In Barcelona, social workers were involved to address these immediate and fundamental needs. Establish links with other social and public health services that can support people with housing, welfare, immigration, and drug and alcohol treatment.
- Think through and plan a patient journey and involve the services responsible at each stage in the planning of screening.
In this section, learn about the different tests and their interpretation for diagnosing chronic hepatitis B and C.
Post-test counselling is an important for of health promotion and health protection. There are post-test counselling guides and information about delivery including what to cover and why it is important, including a practical resource for behaviour change.