USPSTF Invites Comments on Draft Research Plan for Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Adolescents and Adults: Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released a draft research plan for hepatitis C virus infection in adolescents and adults: screening.
The proposed questions for systematic review in the research plan are:
1a. Does screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in pregnant and non-pregnant adolescents and adults without known abnormal liver enzyme levels reduce HCV-related mortality and morbidity or affect quality of life?
1b. Does prenatal screening for HCV infection reduce risk of vertical transmission of HCV infection?
2. What is the effectiveness of different risk- or prevalence-based methods for screening for HCV infection on clinical outcomes?
3. What are the harms of screening for HCV infection (e.g., anxiety and labeling)?
4. What are the effects of interventions during labor and delivery or the perinatal period on risk of vertical transmission of HCV infection?
5. What is the effectiveness of currently recommended antiviral treatments in improving health outcomes in patients with HCV infection?
6. What is the effectiveness of currently recommended antiviral treatments in achieving a sustained virologic response?
7. What are the harms of acurrently recommended antiviral treatments?
8. What is the association between improvement of sustained virologic response following antiviral treatment and reduction in risk of HCV-related adverse health outcomes?
Additional questions that will not be reviewed systematically, but will provide context to the research include:
1. Based on population level estimates, what are recent trends in the epidemiology, prevalence, and incidence of HCV infection in the United States over the past 5 to 10 years?
2. What are the effects of different risk- or prevalence-based methods for screening for HCV infection in modeling studies?
3. What is the effect of antiviral treatments on behavioral outcomes (e.g., risky sexual or drug use behavior)?
Expanding hepatitis C screening and diagnosis to identify persons infected with viral hepatitis early in the course of their disease is one of the goals of the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017 – 2020. To learn more, download the plan and see how to get involved.
Public comments on the draft USPSTF plan are due by October 18, 2017 at 8:00 PM EST. To review the draft research plan and submit comments, read more here.