María Ángeles Otero, Chang-Hai Liu, Javier Ampuero, Rocío Llorca, Manuel Vargas, Julio Vargas-Romero, Manuel Romero-Gomez
Introduction and aim. The detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) depends on primary care center activity. The present study aims to investigate the impact of peer-to-peer sessions with hepatologists on hepatitis B screening efficacy in primary care centers. Material and methods. Peer-to-peer one-hour sessions were scheduled to improve the screening program for HBV in Seville, Spain. The sessions were focused on who should be tested for HBV and how positive cases should be referred. Fourteen out of 26 health care centers were selected to participate in peer-to-peer sessions. The centers were classified according to how many sessions they held (no sessions, one session or more than one session). Results. Over a five-year period, HBV screening was performed in 32 203 people. In Seville, the prevalence of HBsAg was 0.87% (283/32 203). The detection rates for new HBsAg-positive cases were 7.1, 16.9 and 21.3 cases/10⁵ population/year in non-session, one-time session and more than one session centers, respectively (p < 0.05). The rate of patients who effectively visited centers as outpatients was significantly higher after peer-to-peer sessions-86/94 (91%) for one session and 81/89 (91%) for two session centers vs. 16/27 (67%) for non-session centers (p = 0.002). The only independent predictor of patient referral was peer-to-peer sessions (OR, 1.925 [95% CI, 1.002-3.699]; p < 0.05). Conclusions. Peer-to-peer sessions in primary care centers increased HBV detection and visitation rates.
Key words. Hepatitis B virus, Referral rate