The acceptability and effectiveness of a questionnaire for the identification of risk factors for HIV and hepatitis B and C: An observational study in general practice

<p><b>Background:</b> Many people in Europe remain undiagnosed for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV).</p> <p><b>Objectives:</b> To evaluate acceptability and effectiveness of a questionnaire designed to facilitate identification of risk factors for these viruses.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> We performed an observational study, in a prospectively enrolled cohort of patients in Paris (France) seen in 2014. Eighteen GPs administered a questionnaire to the first 50 patients, collecting information about risk factors. GPs were randomized into two groups: A (self-administered questionnaire) and B (GP-administered questionnaire). We used the overall response rate to assess the acceptability of the questionnaire. We used the rate of newly identified risk factors and compared the number of tests performed one year before and immediately after the intervention to assess the effectiveness of the questionnaire.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> 842 patients were randomized: 349 (41.5%) in group A and 493 (58.5%) in group B. Acceptability was 88.5% (95%CI: 86.3–90.6); 93.1% (95%CI: 90.5–95.8) in-group A and 85.2% (95%CI: 82.1–88.3) in group B (<i>P</i> = 0.0004). Prevalence of risk factors was 51.8% (95%CI: 48.2–54.4) and 58.3% were newly identified (95%CI: 52.9–63.7). The number of HIV tests performed during the four weeks after intervention increased by 27% compared to the same period one year before (<i>P</i> = 0.22). It increased by 113% (<i>P</i> = 0.005) and 135% (<i>P</i> = 0.005) for HBV and HCV, respectively.</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> The questionnaire proved acceptable and effective in identifying risk factors for HIV, HBV and HCV in general practice.</p>