There’s just not enough time: a mixed methods pilot study of hepatitis C virus screening among baby boomers in primary care

Monica L. Kasting, Julie Rathwell, Kaitlyn M. Gabhart, Jennifer Garcia, Richard G. Roetzheim, Olveen Carrasquillo, Anna R. Giuliano, Susan T. Vadaparampil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Liver cancer rates are rising and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the primary cause. The CDC recommends a one-time HCV screening for all persons born 1945–1965 (baby boomers). However, 14% of baby boomers have been screened. Few studies have examined primary care providers’ (PCP) perspectives on barriers to HCV screening. This study examines current HCV screening practices, knowledge, barriers, and facilitators to HCV screening recommendation for baby boomers among PCPs. Methods: We conducted a mixed methods pilot study of PCPs. Quantitative: We surveyed PCPs from 3 large academic health systems assessing screening practices, knowledge (range:0–9), self-efficacy to identify and treat HCV (range:0–32), and barriers (range:0–10). Qualitative: We conducted interviews assessing patient, provider, and clinic-level barriers to HCV screening for baby boomers in primary care. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with content analysis. Results: The study sample consisted of 31 PCPs (22 survey participants and nine interview participants). All PCPs were aware of the birth cohort screening recommendation and survey participants reported high HCV testing recommendation, but qualitative interviews indicated other priorities may supersede recommending HCV testing. Provider knowledge of viral transmission was high, but lower for infection prevalence. While survey participants reported very few barriers to HCV screening in primary care, interview participants provided a more nuanced description of barriers such as lack of time. Conclusions: There is a need for provider education on both HCV treatment as well as how to effectively recommend HCV screening for their patients. As HCV screening guidelines continue to expand to a larger segment of the primary care population, it is important to understand ways to improve HCV screening in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number248
JournalBMC Family Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Health services research
  • Hepatitis C
  • Primary care
  • Professional practice gaps
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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