Hepatitis B Virus: Inappropriate Reactions to Transmission Risks

Thomas W. Kiernan, Robert J. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ten patients designated as hepatitis B surface antigen (HBAg) carriers were screened for inappropriate reactions to their disease. Assessment with a 32-item questionnaire showed three carriers to have underreacted to the risks of HBAg transmission through misunderstandings or denial concerning the disease. One carrier, through severe social withdrawal, showed overreaction to the possibilities of disease transmission. Counseling was provided regarding the risks of HBAg transmission. At a one-month followup, all carriers appeared appropriately aware of the risks of transmission, and one of two carriers referred for psychotherapy showed greatly improved social adjustment. We recommend that persons treating HBAg carriers screen routinely for inappropriate reactions to risks of disease transmission and provide counseling as needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-587
Number of pages3
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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