The effects of interferon alpha-2b in combination with ribavirin on health related quality of life and work productivity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Alanine Transaminase; Antiviral Agents; Drug Therapy, Combination; Female; Hepatitis C, Chronic; Humans; Interferon Alfa-2b; Male; Middle Aged; *Quality of Life; Recurrence; Ribavirin


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Interferon plus ribavirin is the most effective therapy for chronic hepatitis C. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of chronic hepatitis C and therapy on health-related quality of life and work functioning.

METHODS: Nine hundred and twelve patients with hepatitis C infection were randomized in a controlled trial of Interferon alpha 2b 3 MU tiw for 24 or 48 weeks plus ribavirin 1000-1200 mg or placebo. Questionnaire-based assessments of health-related quality of life and work functioning were performed before, during, and after treatment. Outcome measures included the SF-36 Health Survey and additional generic and specific scales. Work functioning was assessed as missed days, shorter hours or less productivity at work.

RESULTS: Pre-treatment, patients had significant impairment in five of eight SF-36 concepts compared to matched population norms. Sustained responders had a return to normal for four of these five concepts. Quality of life did not improve in non-responders. Improvements in histology, viral load or ALT values predicted improvements in quality of life. Sustained responders also had improvements in work functioning and productivity.

CONCLUSIONS: Hepatitis C patients had impaired quality of life. After combination therapy, sustained virologic responders achieved benefits in their quality of life and work functioning.

DOI of Published Version



J Hepatol. 2001 Jan;34(1):140-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of hepatology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed