Background: The role of psycosocial factors in the disease progression of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to prospectively evaluate the prognostic value of behavioral patterns and the quality of life (QOL) of patients with CHC. Methods: Two hundred and forty Japanese CHC patients (mean age 62.4 years) were assessed for behavioral patterns (Stress Inventory), QOL (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual), and known prognostic factors at baseline then followed for a maximum of 8 years for disease progression, defined as either the first diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or hepatitis-related death. Results: Forty-nine events occurred during the study period (46 newly diagnosed HCC cases, three hepatitis-related deaths). In a Cox proportional hazard model including known prognostic factors and treatment-related factors as time-dependent variables, behavioral patterns associated with inhibition of emotional needs (hazard ratio (HR): 1.35; 95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.02-1.77; p = 0.036) and QOL, representing emotional wellbeing (HR 0.60; 95 % CI 0.37-0.98; p = 0.041), were each associated with the risk of disease progression. Conclusion: Psychosocial factors such as behavioral patterns relevant to the inhibition of emotional needs and emotional wellbeing independently affect the clinical course of patients with CHC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry