Documenting stories of family life in the context of hep B or hep C

Researchers at the University of NSW are investigating the impact of family support in dealing with viral hepatitis. They are looking to recruit people with lived experience of hepatitis B or hepatitis C as well as their family support network, to be interviewed face to face, for the My Health, Our Family research project.

“We have more to do to reach our desired sample size of 90,” said Associate Professor Christy Newman from the Centre for Social Research in Health. “We need to recruit more participants but, the recruitment of family members, people with hepatitis B and people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander needs some additional, targeted, recruitment.”

Interviews, will explore the practical impact on everyday life of serodiscordance, how individuals and their families make sense of and respond to issues of shame, stigma and secrecy, and how they allocate and negotiate responsibilities within the family including: care and treatment, disclosure, information management, infection control, relations with extended family, school, and workplaces.

Recruitment has so far focused on Sydney and the surrounding region. Participants must have lived experience of either hepatitis B or hepatitis C and be over 16 years of age. It doesn’t matter whether they have been cured or not. The term ‘family’ has been defined broadly, to include partners, parents, children, siblings and extended family, as well as families of choice, affinity, or intimate connection.

People who participate in the study will generate new and significant knowledge about the needs and challenges of families affected by serodiscordance, which can inform existing service design and delivery. In addition, having one’s story validated as significant can be a positive and liberating experience for some people who live with a stigmatised condition such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Participants in this study will be offered a Coles/Myer gift card to the value of $40 as reimbursement for their time and any related expenses. Please consider mentioning the study to patients and clients of your service.

All the information is here, including a form for anyone who is interested in taking part.

To find out more, please contact:
0457 241 386