An audit of chronic Hepatitis B tracing in metropolitan Western Australia


Introduction: People with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are a source of transmission. Contacts of CHB cases are a national priority population for hepatitis B testing and vaccination. This audit examined contact tracing success rate and barriers. Success was defined as contacts tested and vaccinated if required.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study design was used. Online survey of 26 GPs and computer assisted telephone interview of 40 CHB cases notified between 1/9/2011 and 1/9/2012.

Results: The median case age was 31 and 37 years for the online survey and CATI respectively with males and females represented equally. Most cases were born overseas. These characteristics were representative of notified metropolitan CHB cases in WA. Half the cases (16/31) were asked to take responsibility for informing contacts; five were contact traced by doctors and three by nurses. Overall success rate was 75%. Nurses contact tracing was 100% successful. After excluding nurse contact tracing from the analysis, the success rate was 57%. 58% of doctors reported that public health units should be responsible for contact tracing. Conclusion: Increasing nurse contact tracing could improve contact tracing success. Public health unit assistance for contact tracing of complex cases should continue. Additional strategies that may have the potential to improve contact tracing include Medicare Benefit Schedule payments for contact tracing and differentiating between household members who have family/sexual contact vs. casual/occasional interactions


chronic Hepatitis B, metropolitan Western Australia


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