About the Project
This project is designed to investigate the impact of a liver health campaign on liver disease knowledge, assessment and treatment. An important part of this study is the development of the messaging and creation of a resource to support the campaign. This campaign is targeted to the drug and alcohol setting, for people with a history of injection drug use.
The burden of liver disease among individuals receiving OST continues to increase. As such, strategies to enhance liver disease assessment are urgently required to reduce liver-related disease burden in this population. Targeted education and non-invasive liver screening may provide opportunities to enhance assessment and treatment of liver disease in this setting. The proposed LiverLife Campaign will provide a framework for the evaluation of this strategy.
This study is divided into four phases.
Phase I will consist of the LiverLife message development.
Phase II will involve message testing within the target population.
Phase III will involve the conduct and evaluation of the LiverLife Campaign.
Phase IV will involve a review of campaign resources.
To assess knowledge of liver disease.
To assess willingness and barriers to receiving assessment for liver disease.
To evaluate the impact of the LiverLife Campaign on liver disease knowledge, liver disease assessment and uptake of interventions.
To develop guidelines for liver disease and FibroScan assessment in the drug and alcohol setting.
Design & Method
Phase I: Message Development
The phase I qualitative research will inform the social marketing campaign design by providing insight into the needs, barriers and motivators to desired behaviours among the target population. Results from phase I will be used to inform an evidence base for both the communication resources and the dissemination strategy.
Phase II: Message Testing
Phase II qualitative research with the target population group, will consolidate the evidence base for the communication resources and inform the dissemination strategy.
Phase III: Campaign Implementation and Analysis
Participants are recruited through a network of drug and alcohol clinics. This is an observational study and no study-specific treatments will be assigned.
The primary endpoints are:
Changes in knowledge of liver disease;
Willingness to receive assessment for liver disease;
Clinical liver disease assessment, and;
Liver disease intervention (including HCV treatment)
It is anticipated that approximately 250 subjects will be enrolled in this study. The LiverLife days will be run once a week for one month, at each of the participating sites.
A lead-in period at each clinic will be directed at raising awareness of the upcoming campaign. A range of activities will be incorporated into the LiverLife days, including: 1) the distribution of campaign resources; 2) healthy liver food; 3) peer-support based discussion; 4) clinical nurse assessments for liver disease screening; and 5) assessment of liver fibrosis by FibroScan.
Participants will be asked to complete a self-administered survey to collect demographic information, injecting history, liver disease and HCV history and knowledge of liver disease, HCV and treatment. Following completion of the survey, a non-invasive liver scan (FibroScan) is performed and the clinic nurse will assess the participant’s medical history and known or likely liver disease related conditions. A dried blood spot sample is collected for future hepatitis research analysis and the participant completes a post-FibroScan and resource evaluation survey.
Phase I & II have been completed and a series of campaign resources were developed, including: a LiverLife booklet, poster campaign, short film, FibroScan report card and a website (www.liverlife.org.au).
Phase III and IV are currently underway. To date (Oct 14), 228 participants have been enrolled across four clinical sites.
The ultimate objective of this project is to demonstrate how targeted education and liver disease screening can increase the uptake of effective interventions for the prevention of liver disease.
Professor and Program Head
Ph 02 9385 0900
Senior Research Fellow (UNSW)
Ph +61 (2) 9385 0957
Clinical Project Coordinator
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0878
Clinical Project Coordinator
Ph +61 2 9385 0882
Clinical Trials Manager
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0886
Ms Nicky Bath: NSW Users & Aids Association (NUAA), NSW Australia
Mr Paul Harvey: Hepatitis NSW, NSW Australia
Ms Jude Byrne: Australian Injecting & Illicit Drugs Users League (AIVL), ACT Australia
Professor Carla Treloar: Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH), UNSW Australia
Professor Sandra Jones and Ms Joanne Telenta: Centre for Health and Social Research, Australian Catholic University, VIC Australia
Ms Dianne How-Chow: St. Vincent’s Hospital, NSW Australia
Project Collaborators: External
Australian Injecting & Illicit Drugs Users League (AIVL), ACT Australia
Centre for Health and Social Research, Australian Catholic University, VIC Australia
Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH), UNSW Australia
Coffs Harbour Drug & Alcohol Service, Coffs Harbour Health Campus, NSW Australia
Hepatitis NSW, NSW Australia
Kirketon Road Centre (KRC), Kings Cross, NSW Australia
Newcastle Pharmacotherapy Service, Newcastle, NSW Australia
NSW Users & Aids Association (NUAA), NSW Australia
St. Vincent’s Hospital, NSW Australia
Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC), Kings Cross, NSW Australia