LIVING WITH HEPATITIS C; PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF INFECTED YOUNG PATIENTS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF SOUTH PUNJAB, PAKISTAN

Main Article Content

Adnan Azam
Samina Kausar
Farhan Mukhtar
Samina Farooqi
Muhammad Bilal
Mehreen Azam

Keywords

Hepatitis C, Experience, Young patients, Pakistan

Abstract

 The prevalence of HCV is a major problem of concern, and the elimination of HCV as a public health
problem by 2030 has recently been set as a global target by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the global ranking, Pakistan is second to Egypt in possessing the highest number of Hepatitis C
infections with wide-ranging financial, social, and psychological consequences. This study aims to
explore the challenges faced by young patients to gain in-depth insight into psychological, emotional,
physical, and social traumas. A phenomenological research design was used to obtain data from 12
participants following the principle of data saturation. One-on-one detailed interviews were conducted
using a purposive sampling technique. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using
the thematic analysis framework method. Illness experiences and insufficient healthcare facilities
were major themes that emerged after the thematic analysis. To deal with stressful situations,
participants reported strategies of mind diversion, self-motivation, religious practices, and lifestyle
modifications as effective tools to develop adaptability. The present study's findings are helpful for
policymakers to prevent, cure and rehabilitate the patients, their families, and the community at large.

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