patient in hospital

Examining the hospital experiences of people living with HIV/HCV who use substances

Research Team:  Soo Chan Carusone (nominated principal investigator), Carol Strike (co-principal investigator), Adrian Guta (co-principal investigator), Curtis Cooper, Bill O’Leary, Karen de Prinse, Grant Cobb, Darrell Tan, Michael Wilson, Ross Upshur, Tony Antoniou

What is this research about?

Drug use is a risk factor for acquiring HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and for negative health outcomes associated with these conditions. People who use substances who living with HIV/HCV and who need to seek hospital-based care, may encounter stigma and substandard care within hospitals, because they are seen as “drug-seeking,” regardless of their current health issue. This research sought to further understand these challenges and their impact, addressing three key questions:

  1. How do people living with HIV/HCV describe their experiences accessing hospital-based care?
  2. What strategies do they use to negotiate/manage their substance use during a hospital stay?
  3. From their perspective, what policies and practices are needed in hospitals to ensure that care is appropriate to their needs?

The study will conduct in-depth interviews with members of this community, in Toronto and Ottawa, about their hospitalization experiences. The goal is to inform guidelines for acute care and to create education materials for health care providers in general, with tangible guidance on ‘how to’ effectively manage substance use in hospitals while providing effective and responsive care to this population.

OHTN Support:

This project is supported by a OHTN project grant of $25,000 awarded in August 2014.

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