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Recent Submissions

  • Beaumont Hospital and National Ambulance Service: Pathfinder Service

    Corcoran, Grace; Kenna, Lawrence; Beaumont Hospital, National Ambulance Service (Beaumont Hospital, 2020-02-26)
    Presentation on integration of ambulance service and Beaumont Hospital ED.
  • Covid-19: safe PPE - hand hygiene first in all cases.

    University of Limerick Hospitals (University pf Limerick Hospitals, 2020-04-03)
    Care of patients with respiratory symptoms/ suspected/confirmed COVID-19.
  • Musculoskeletal anomalies in children with Down syndrome: an observational study.

    Foley, Charlene; Killeen, Orla G (2018-11-24)
    Background: Musculoskeletal complications of Down syndrome (DS) are common but infrequently reported. The combination of ligamentous laxity and low muscle tone contributes to increased risk of a number of musculoskeletal disorders and a delay in acquisition of motor milestones. The primary aim of this study was to describe musculoskeletal anomalies reported in a national cohort of children with DS. Methods: This was an observational study. Children with DS, aged 0-21 years, were invited to attend a musculoskeletal assessment clinic conducted by a paediatric physician. Relevant musculoskeletal history and clinical findings were documented. Results: Over an 18-month period, 503 children with DS were examined (56% male). The median age was 8.1 years (0.6-19.2). Pes planus was almost universal, occurring in 91% of the cohort. A range of other musculoskeletal anomalies were observed, with inflammatory arthritis (7%) and scoliosis (4.8%) occurring most frequently after pes planus. Delay in ambulation was common; the median age to walk was 28 months (12-84). Conclusion: Children with DS are at increased risk of a number of potentially debilitating musculoskeletal problems. These conditions can present in variable manners or be completely asymptomatic. Pes planus is common; therefore, early consideration of orthotics and lifelong appropriate supportive footwear should be considered. Delayed ambulation is frequently noted. A significant proportion of children with DS have arthritis; however, despite a high prevalence, it is often missed, leading to delayed diagnosis. An annual musculoskeletal assessment for all children with DS could potentially enable early detection of problems, allowing for timely multidisciplinary team intervention and better clinical outcomes.
  • Perinatal factors affect the gut microbiota up to four years after birth.

    Fouhy, Fiona; Watkins, Claire; Hill, Cian J; O'Shea, Carol-Anne; Nagle, Brid; Dempsey, Eugene M; O'Toole, Paul W; Ross, R Paul; Ryan, C Anthony; Stanton, Catherine (2019-04-03)
    Perinatal factors impact gut microbiota development in early life, however, little is known on the effects of these factors on microbes in later life. Here we sequence DNA from faecal samples of children over the first four years and reveal a perpetual evolution of the gut microbiota during this period. The significant impact of gestational age at birth and delivery mode on gut microbiota progression is evident in the first four years of life, while no measurable effects of antibiotics are found in the first year. Microbiota profiles are also characteristic in children dependant on gestational age and maturity. Full term delivery is characterised by Bacteroides (year one), Parabacteroides (year two) and Christensenellaceae (year four). Preterm delivery is characterised by Lactobacillus (year one), Streptococcus (year two) and Carnobacterium (year four). This study reveals that the gut retains distinct microbial profiles of perinatal factors up to four years of age.
  • The Role of Religion in Buffering the Impact of Stressful Life Events on Depressive Symptoms in Patients with Depressive Episodes or Adjustment Disorder.

    Lorenz, Louisa; Doherty, Anne; Casey, Patricia (2019-04-08)
    Most studies into the role of religiousness in relation to depression severity have mainly found an inverse relationship between greater religiousness and lower levels of depressive symptoms. There is reason to assume that religiousness has a buffering effect on the relationship between stressful life events and depressive symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of religiousness in moderating the impact of stressors on depressive symptoms. n = 348 patients with either a depressive episode or adjustment disorder were assessed at referral to the liaison psychiatry services in three Dublin hospitals and n = 132 patients were followed up six months later. We assessed depressive symptoms, life events, social support, and religiosity, and used hierarchical and multiple linear regression for data analysis. The interaction of organised religious activity and the amount of life events was significant (β = -0.19, p = 0.001) in the cross-sectional prediction of depressive symptoms while non-organised religious activity (β = -0.23, p = 0.001) and intrinsic religiousness (β = -0.15, p = 0.033) interacted significantly with life events in the longitudinal analysis. This study demonstrated that various dimensions of religiousness buffered the impact of life events on outcome.
  • Distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal carcinoma [TIGER study]: study protocol of a multinational observational study.

    Hagens, Eliza R C; van Berge Henegouwen, Mark I; van Sandick, Johanna W; Cuesta, Miguel A; van der Peet, Donald L; Heisterkamp, Joos; Nieuwenhuijzen, Grard A P; Rosman, Camiel; Scheepers, Joris J G; Sosef, Meindert N; et al. (2019-07-04)
    Background: An important parameter for survival in patients with esophageal carcinoma is lymph node status. The distribution of lymph node metastases depends on tumor characteristics such as tumor location, histology, invasion depth, and on neoadjuvant treatment. The exact distribution is unknown. Neoadjuvant treatment and surgical strategy depends on the distribution pattern of nodal metastases but consensus on the extent of lymphadenectomy has not been reached. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of lymph node metastases in patients with resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed. This can be the foundation for a uniform worldwide staging system and establishment of the optimal surgical strategy for esophageal cancer patients. Methods: The TIGER study is an international observational cohort study with 50 participating centers. Patients with a resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed in participating centers will be included. All lymph node stations will be excised and separately individually analyzed by pathological examination. The aim is to include 5000 patients. The primary endpoint is the distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal and esophago-gastric junction carcinoma specimens following transthoracic esophagectomy with at least 2-field lymphadenectomy in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and (disease free) survival. Discussion: The TIGER study will provide a roadmap of the location of lymph node metastases in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and survival. Patient-tailored treatment can be developed based on these results, such as the optimal radiation field and extent of lymphadenectomy based on the primary tumor characteristics.
  • Heterozygous loss-of-function variants of MEIS2 cause a triad of palatal defects, congenital heart defects, and intellectual disability.

    Verheije, Rosalind; Kupchik, Gabriel S; Isidor, Bertrand; Kroes, Hester Y; Lynch, Sally Ann; Hawkes, Lara; Hempel, Maja; Gelb, Bruce D; Ghoumid, Jamal; D'Amours, Guylaine; et al. (2018-10-05)
    Deletions on chromosome 15q14 are a known chromosomal cause of cleft palate, typically co-occurring with intellectual disability, facial dysmorphism, and congenital heart defects. The identification of patients with loss-of-function variants in MEIS2, a gene within this deletion, suggests that these features are attributed to haploinsufficiency of MEIS2. To further delineate the phenotypic spectrum of the MEIS2-related syndrome, we collected 23 previously unreported patients with either a de novo sequence variant in MEIS2 (9 patients), or a 15q14 microdeletion affecting MEIS2 (14 patients). All but one de novo MEIS2 variant were identified by whole-exome sequencing. One variant was found by targeted sequencing of MEIS2 in a girl with a clinical suspicion of this syndrome. In addition to the triad of palatal defects, heart defects, and developmental delay, heterozygous loss of MEIS2 results in recurrent facial features, including thin and arched eyebrows, short alae nasi, and thin vermillion. Genotype-phenotype comparison between patients with 15q14 deletions and patients with sequence variants or intragenic deletions within MEIS2, showed a higher prevalence of moderate-to-severe intellectual disability in the former group, advocating for an independent locus for psychomotor development neighboring MEIS2.
  • Association of synovial tissue polyfunctional T-cells with DAPSA in psoriatic arthritis.

    Wade, Sarah M; Canavan, Mary; McGarry, Trudy; Low, Candice; Wade, Siobhan C; Mullan, Ronan H; Veale, Douglas J; Fearon, Ursula (2019-01-09)
    PsA synovial tissue infiltrating CD4+ T-cells expressed higher levels of interleukin (IL)-17A, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), GM-CSF and CD161, with parallel enrichment of Th1, Th17 and exTh17 T-helper subsets (all p<0.05). Interestingly, a significant proportion of synovial T-cell subsets were triple-positive for GM-CSF, tumour necrosis factor (-TNF), -IL-17 or IFN-γ compared with matched blood (all p<0.05). Importantly, frequencies of polyfunctional T-cells correlated with DAPSA: Th1-GM-CSF+/TNF+/IFN-γ+ (r=0.7, p<0.01), Th17-GM-CSF+/TNF+/IL-17+ (r=0.6, p<0.057) and exTh17-GM-CSF+/TNF+/IFN-γ+ (r=0.7, p=0.0096), with no associations observed for single cytokine-producing T-cells. Following ex vivo culture of PsA synovial tissue cell suspensions, polyfunctional GM-CSF+TNFα+IL-17A+ or/IFN-γ+-producing T-cells (p<0.05), but not single cytokine-producing T-cells, were inhibited with a PDE4 inhibitor. Conclusion: These data demonstrate enrichment of polyfunctional T-cells in PsA synovial tissue which were strongly associated with DAPSA and ex vivo therapeutic response.
  • KAT6A Syndrome: genotype-phenotype correlation in 76 patients with pathogenic KAT6A variants.

    Kennedy, Joanna; Goudie, David; Blair, Edward; Chandler, Kate; Joss, Shelagh; McKay, Victoria; Green, Andrew; Armstrong, Ruth; Lees, Melissa; Kamien, Benjamin; et al. (2018-09-24)
    Purpose: Pathogenic variants in KAT6A have recently been identified as a cause of syndromic developmental delay. Within 2 years, the number of patients identified with pathogenic KAT6A variants has rapidly expanded and the full extent and variability of the clinical phenotype has not been reported. Methods: We obtained data for patients with KAT6A pathogenic variants through three sources: treating clinicians, an online family survey distributed through social media, and a literature review. Results: We identified 52 unreported cases, bringing the total number of published cases to 76. Our results expand the genotypic spectrum of pathogenic variants to include missense and splicing mutations. We functionally validated a pathogenic splice-site variant and identified a likely hotspot location for de novo missense variants. The majority of clinical features in KAT6A syndrome have highly variable penetrance. For core features such as intellectual disability, speech delay, microcephaly, cardiac anomalies, and gastrointestinal complications, genotype- phenotype correlations show that late-truncating pathogenic variants (exons 16-17) are significantly more prevalent. We highlight novel associations, including an increased risk of gastrointestinal obstruction. Conclusion: Our data expand the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum for individuals with genetic pathogenic variants in KAT6A and we outline appropriate clinical management.
  • Reproductive health outcomes in women with psoriatic arthritis.

    Murray, Kieran; Moore, Louise; McAuliffe, Fionnuala; Veale, Douglas J (2019-02-15)
  • Clinical and genetic landscape of treatment naive cervical cancer: Alterations in PIK3CA and in epigenetic modulators associated with sub-optimal outcome.

    Scholl, Suzy; Popovic, Marina; de la Rochefordiere, Anne; Girard, Elodie; Dureau, Sylvain; Mandic, Aljosa; Koprivsek, Katarina; Samet, Nina; Craina, Marius; Margan, Madalin; et al. (2019-04-02)
    Background: There is a lack of information as to which molecular processes, present at diagnosis, favor tumour escape from standard-of-care treatments in cervical cancer (CC). RAIDs consortium (www.raids-fp7.eu), conducted a prospectively monitored trial, [BioRAIDs (NCT02428842)] with the objectives to generate high quality samples and molecular assessments to stratify patient populations and to identify molecular patterns associated with poor outcome. Methods: Between 2013 and 2017, RAIDs collected a prospective CC sample and clinical dataset involving 419 participant patients from 18 centers in seven EU countries. Next Generation Sequencing has so far been carried out on a total of 182 samples from 377 evaluable (48%) patients, allowing to define dominant genetic alterations. Reverse phase protein expression arrays (RPPA) was applied to group patients into clusters. Activation of key genetic pathways and protein expression signatures were tested for associations with outcome. Findings: At a median follow up (FU) of 22 months, progression-free survival rates of this FIGO stage IB1-IV population, treated predominantly (87%) by chemoradiation, were65•4% [CI95%: 60•2-71.1]. Dominant oncogenic alterations were seen in PIK3CA (40%), while dominant suppressor gene alterations were seen in KMT2D (15%) and KMT2C (16%). Cumulative frequency of loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in any epigenetic modulator gene alteration was 47% and it was associated with PIK3CA gene alterations in 32%. Patients with tumours harboring alterations in both pathways had a significantly poorer PFS. A new finding was the detection of a high frequency of gains of TLR4 gene amplifications (10%), as well as amplifications, mutations, and non-frame-shift deletions of Androgen receptor (AR) gene in 7% of patients. Finally, RPPA protein expression analysis defined three expression clusters. Interpretation: Our data suggests that patient population may be stratified into four different treatment strategies based on molecular markers at the outset. FUND: European Union's Seventh Program grant agreement No 304810.
  • Influenza and associated co-infections in critically ill immunosuppressed patients.

    Martin-Loeches, Ignacio; Lemiale, Virginie; Geoghegan, Pierce; McMahon, Mary AISLING; Pickkers, Peter; Soares, Marcio; Perner, Anders; Meyhoff, Tine Sylvest; Bukan, Ramin Brandt; Rello, Jordi; et al. (2019-05-02)
    Background It is unclear whether influenza infection and associated co-infection are associated with patient-important outcomes in critically ill immunocompromised patients with acute respiratory failure. Methods Preplanned secondary analysis of EFRAIM, a prospective cohort study of 68 hospitals in 16 countries. We included 1611 patients aged 18 years or older with non-AIDS-related immunocompromise, who were admitted to the ICU with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. The main exposure of interest was influenza infection status. The primary outcome of interest was all-cause hospital mortality, and secondary outcomes ICU length of stay (LOS) and 90-day mortality. Results Influenza infection status was categorized into four groups: patients with influenza alone (n = 95, 5.8%), patients with influenza plus pulmonary co-infection (n = 58, 3.6%), patients with non-influenza pulmonary infection (n = 820, 50.9%), and patients without pulmonary infection (n = 638, 39.6%). Influenza infection status was associated with a requirement for intubation and with LOS in ICU (P < 0.001). Patients with influenza plus co-infection had the highest rates of intubation and longest ICU LOS. On crude analysis, influenza infection status was associated with ICU mortality (P < 0.001) but not hospital mortality (P = 0.09). Patients with influenza plus co-infection and patients with non-influenza infection alone had similar ICU mortality (41% and 37% respectively) that was higher than patients with influenza alone or those without infection (33% and 26% respectively). A propensity score-matched analysis did not show a difference in hospital mortality attributable to influenza infection (OR = 1.01, 95%CI 0.90–1.13, P = 0.85). Age, severity scores, ARDS, and performance status were all associated with ICU, hospital, and 90-day mortality. Conclusions Category of infectious etiology of respiratory failure (influenza, non-influenza, influenza plus co-infection, and non-infectious) was associated with ICU but not hospital mortality. In a propensity score-matched analysis, influenza infection was not associated with the primary outcome of hospital mortality. Overall, influenza infection alone may not be an independent risk factor for hospital mortality in immunosuppressed patients.
  • Adipose tissue as a key player in obstructive sleep apnoea.

    Ryan, Silke; Arnaud, Claire; Fitzpatrick, Susan F; Gaucher, Jonathan; Tamisier, Renaud; Pépin, Jean-Louis (2019-06-26)
    Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a major health concern worldwide and adversely affects multiple organs and systems. OSA is associated with obesity in >60% of cases and is independently linked with the development of numerous comorbidities including hypertension, arrhythmia, stroke, coronary heart disease and metabolic dysfunction. The complex interaction between these conditions has a significant impact on patient care and mortality. The pathophysiology of cardiometabolic complications in OSA is still incompletely understood; however, the particular form of intermittent hypoxia (IH) observed in OSA, with repetitive short cycles of desaturation and re-oxygenation, probably plays a pivotal role. There is fast growing evidence that IH mediates some of its detrimental effects through adipose tissue inflammation and dysfunction. This article aims to summarise the effects of IH on adipose tissue in experimental models in a comprehensive way. Data from well-designed controlled trials are also reported with the final goal of proposing new avenues for improving phenotyping and personalised care in OSA.
  • Standards for the management of cancer-related pain across Europe-A position paper from the EFIC Task Force on Cancer Pain.

    Bennett, Michael I; Eisenberg, Elon; Ahmedzai, Sam H; Bhaskar, Arun; O'Brien, Tony; Mercadante, Sebastiano; Krčevski Škvarč, Nevenka; Vissers, Kris; Wirz, Stefan; Wells, Chris; et al. (2019-01-06)
  • A Technological Review of Wearable Cueing Devices Addressing Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease.

    Sweeney, Dean; Quinlan, Leo R; Browne, Patrick; Richardson, Margaret; Meskell, Pauline; ÓLaighin, Gearóid (2019-03-13)
    Freezing of gait is one of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease and is an important contributor to falls, leading to it being a major cause of hospitalization and nursing home admissions. When the management of freezing episodes cannot be achieved through medication or surgery, non-pharmacological methods such as cueing have received attention in recent years. Novel cueing systems were developed over the last decade and have been evaluated predominantly in laboratory settings. However, to provide benefit to people with Parkinson's and improve their quality of life, these systems must have the potential to be used at home as a self-administer intervention. This paper aims to provide a technological review of the literature related to wearable cueing systems and it focuses on current auditory, visual and somatosensory cueing systems, which may provide a suitable intervention for use in home-based environments. The paper describes the technical operation and effectiveness of the different cueing systems in overcoming freezing of gait. The "What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)" tool was used to assess the quality of each study described. The paper findings should prove instructive for further researchers looking to enhance the effectiveness of future cueing systems.
  • Moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise is safe and favorably influences body composition in patients with quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a randomized controlled cross-over trial.

    Cronin, Owen; Barton, Wiley; Moran, Carthage; Sheehan, Donal; Whiston, Ronan; Nugent, Helena; McCarthy, Yvonne; Molloy, Catherine B; O'Sullivan, Orla; Cotter, Paul D; et al. (2019-02-12)
    Improved physical fitness was demonstrated in the exercise group by increases in median estimated VO2max (Baseline: 43.41mls/kg/min; post-intervention: 46.01mls/kg/min; p = 0.03). Improvement in body composition was achieved by the intervention group (n = 13) with a median decrease of 2.1% body fat compared with a non-exercising group (n = 7) (0.1% increase; p = 0.022). Lean tissue mass increased by a median of 1.59 kg and fat mass decreased by a median of 1.52 kg in the exercising group. No patients experienced a deterioration in disease activity scores during the exercise intervention. No clinically significant alterations in the α- and β-diversity of gut microbiota and associated metabolic pathways were evident.
  • Thinking forward: promising but unproven ideas for future intensive care.

    Marini, John J; DeBacker, Daniel; Gattinoni, Luciano; Ince, Can; Martin-Loeches, Ignacio; Singer, Pierre; Singer, Mervyn; Westphal, Martin; Vincent, Jean-Louis (2019-06-14)
    Progress toward determining the true worth of ongoing practices or value of recent innovations can be glacially slow when we insist on following the conventional stepwise scientific pathway. Moreover, a widely accepted but flawed conceptual paradigm often proves difficult to challenge, modify or reject. Yet, most experienced clinicians, educators and clinical scientists privately entertain untested ideas about how care could or should be improved, even if the supporting evidence base is currently thin or non-existent. This symposium encouraged experts to share such intriguing but unproven concepts, each based upon what the speaker considered a logical but unproven rationale. Such free interchange invited dialog that pointed toward new or neglected lines of research needed to improve care of the critically ill. In this summary of those presentations, a brief background outlines the rationale for each novel and deliberately provocative unconfirmed idea endorsed by the presenter.
  • Effect of Glyceryl Trinitrate on Hemodynamics in Acute Stroke.

    Appleton, Jason P; Woodhouse, Lisa J; Bereczki, Daniel; Berge, Eivind; Christensen, Hanne K; Collins, Rónán; Gommans, John; Ntaios, George; Ozturk, Serefnur; Szatmari, Szabolcs; et al.
    Background and Purpose- Increased blood pressure (BP), heart rate, and their derivatives (variability, pulse pressure, rate-pressure product) are associated with poor clinical outcome in acute stroke. We assessed the effects of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) on hemodynamic parameters and these on outcome in participants in the ENOS trial (Efficacy of Nitric Oxide in Stroke). Methods- Four thousand and eleven patients with acute stroke and raised BP were randomized within 48 hours of onset to transdermal GTN or no GTN for 7 days. Peripheral hemodynamics were measured at baseline (3 measures) and daily (2 measures) during treatment. Between-visit BP variability over days 1 to 7 (as SD) was assessed in quintiles. Functional outcome was assessed as modified Rankin Scale and cognition as telephone mini-mental state examination at day 90. Analyses were adjusted for baseline prognostic variables. Data are mean difference or odds ratios with 95% CI. Results- Increased baseline BP (diastolic, variability), heart rate, and rate-pressure product were each associated with unfavorable functional outcome at day 90. Increased between-visit systolic BP variability was associated with an unfavourable shift in modified Rankin Scale (highest quintile adjusted odds ratio, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.37-1.99), worse cognitive scores (telephone mini-mental state examination: highest quintile adjusted mean difference, -2.03; 95% CI, -2.84 to -1.22), and increased odds of death at day 90 (highest quintile adjusted odds ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.12-2.19). GTN lowered BP and rate-pressure product and increased heart rate at day 1 and reduced between-visit systolic BP variability. Conclusions- Increased between-visit BP variability was associated with poor functional and cognitive outcomes and increased death 90 days after acute stroke. In addition to lowering BP and rate-pressure product, GTN reduced between-visit systolic BP variability. Agents that lower BP variability in acute stroke require further study.
  • 'HepCheck Dublin': an intensified hepatitis C screening programme in a homeless population demonstrates the need for alternative models of care.

    Lambert, John S; Murtagh, Ross; Menezes, Dee; O'Carroll, Austin; Murphy, Carol; Cullen, Walter; McHugh, Tina; Avramovic, Gordana; Tinago, Willard; Van Hout, Marie Claire (2019-02-07)
    Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. Prevalence of HCV in homeless populations ranges from 3.9 to 36.2%. The HepCheck study sought to investigate and establish the characterisation of HCV burden among individuals who attended an intensified screening programme for HCV in homeless services in Dublin, Ireland. Methods: The HepCheck study was conducted as part of a larger European wide initiative called HepCare Europe. The study consisted of three phases; 1) all subjects completed a short survey and were offered a rapid oral HCV test; 2) a convenience sample of HCV positive participants from phase 1 were selected to complete a survey on health and social risk factors and 3) subjects were tracked along the referral pathway to identify whether they were referred to a specialist clinic, attended the specialist clinic, were assessed for cirrhosis by transient elastography (Fibroscan) and were treated for HCV. Results: Five hundred ninety-seven individuals were offered HCV screening, 73% were male and 63% reported having had a previous HCV screening. We screened 538 (90%) of those offered screening, with 37% testing positive. Among those who tested positive, 112 (56%) were 'new positives' and 44% were 'known positives'. Undiagnosed HCV was prevalent in 19% of the study sample. Active past 30-day drug use was common, along with attendance for drug treatment. Unstable accommodation was the most common barrier to attending specialist appointments and accessing treatment. Depression and anxiety, dental problems and respiratory conditions were common reported health problems. Forty-six subjects were referred to specialised services and two subjects completed HCV treatment. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the current hospital-based model of care is inadequate in addressing the specific needs of a homeless population and emphasises the need for a community-based treatment approach. Findings are intended to inform HepCare Europe in their development of a community-based model of care in order to engage with homeless individuals with multiple co-morbidities including substance abuse, who are affected by or infected with HCV.

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