Quality of life and factors among hepatitis B patients

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Illustration of Hepatitis B. (Source: Dokter Sehat)

Indonesia still faces various infectious diseases with high incidence rates, including Hepatitis B. As a country with the second highest endemic hepatitis B infection in Southeast Asia after Myanmar, it has the potential to develop into a serious disease that can increase mortality. Fifty percent of hepatitis B chronic patients have potential to have chronic liver disease and 10% have potential for liver fibrosis which can cause liver cancer. Deterioration of this progressive disease can affect the hepatitis B patients’ quality of life.

Quality of life is the perception of individuals about general conditions both positive and negative aspects based on experiences during their lives. Quality of life is strongly influenced by the health status of each individual. Various studies have measured the quality of life carried out for several years. Furthermore, the quality of life of each individual will be measured well and be able to describe the patient’s personal perception, the patient’s experience to maintain health and enjoy life, good or satisfied in life and psychological conditions to deal with these conditions.

The worsening quality of life of chronic hepatitis B patients is influenced by some contributing factors, including internal factors and support from the surrounding environment. If the patient does not get a good quality of life, the condition of hepatitis B will also get worse, especially patients who have just been diagnosed with hepatitis B and experienced delayed treatment.

Based on this background, researchers from Gastroentero-Hepatology Division of Internal Medicine Department Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Soetomo, Institute of Tropical Disease, Universitas Airlangga managed to publish a case report in one of the international journals, the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, which reported the quality of life of people with Hepatitis B showing good results. Housewives with hepatitis B have a better quality of life than employees.

Moreover, after studying the age, sex, and regular medication, housewives have a quality of life 21 times higher than employees. Hepatitis B patients with lower incomes have a better quality of life, and hepatitis B patients who are diagnosed with less than or equal to 2 years and duration of treatment less than or equal to 1 year have a better quality of life. Age, sex and work status have an influence on the quality of life 19 times higher.

In this study, researchers found the quality of life of hepatitis B patients related closely to work and regular treatments. Patients who do not work, such as housewives, have a better quality of life than patients who work as employees. Housewives have a lot of time at home and do not work outside the home and hand over all work responsibilities to their husbands. Therefore, they may have lower stress levels, compared to career women who have jobs and targets.

Housewives only take care of life at home, they can rest and enjoy their free time to relax after all the housework. As for career women, they have an obligation to take care of the household and work and reduce the quality of life. It is important for individuals with the hepatitis B virus in their body to maintain stress so that their health does not get worse.

A better quality of life is found in patients who take medication regularly because of better results. Patients with active HBsAg can still survive normally and not fall ill. The success of antiviral therapy to reduce viral load keeps the body healthy, thus giving them higher confidence and improving their quality of life. The occurring pain is also more likely to develop into complications, therefore quality of life will decrease. Quality of life will be better if patients are in the productive age range (20-50 years), while at a younger or older age the level of preparedness in dealing with the disease is getting lower.

A high level of education has a close relationship with the patient’s readiness to accept the disease. Individuals with higher levels of education will have more knowledge than those who did not get formal education. However, in this study, patients without a history of education had a better quality of life than undergraduate. After further investigation, it was influenced by external factors, such as support from family, high self-awareness, being unemployed and not having many other activities, so their health condition was also well maintained. (*)

Author: Muhammad Miftahussurur

Details of this research is in our article in the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation , here we include the reference link :


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