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  • Principal Investigator: Dr Libby Plumridge
  • Co-investigators: Dr Cheryl Brunton, Ms Kendall Crossen


Hepatitis C is a form of viral hepatitis with many chronic complications. Treatment options are limited and relatively ineffective, so people with hepatitis C face decades living with their disease and its effects on their lives. They will also have frequent contact with health services, most often with GPs. This study aims to gain an understanding of the experiences of people living with hepatitis C, particularly in relation to their experiences of health services and support networks.

The study consisted of 15 in-depth interviews of a diverse range of people in the Christchurch area living with hepatitis C, identified through the Hepatitis C Support Group. The interviews explored issues such as:

  • their experience of hepatitis C and health professionals' responses to their illness
  • the extent to which their needs for information about hepatitis C have been met and how
  • the support they have in coping with their illness
  • any discrimination they have experienced

Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed and the transcripts analysed using the interview theme list to organise the information. The findings were shared with study participants, members of the Hepatitis C Support Group and relevant health professional groups.


  • Chetwynd SJ, Brunton C, Blank M, Plumridge EW, Baldwin D. Hepatitis C seroprevalence amongst injecting drug users attending a methadone programme. New Zealand Medical Journal 106: 364-6, 1995.
  • Crossen KA, Brunton CR, Plumridge E, Jang W. The experiences of people living with hepatitis C. Proceedings of the Second Australasian Conference on Hepatitis C. Christchurch 17-19 August 1999.
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