for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion:



Many people who are infected with Hepatitis C misuse alcohol, which is even more dangerous for them than it is for a non-infected person. In this VA study, such individuals will be screened and given feedback on their drinking using an Internet-based program which has been shown to reduce drinking in other populations. The research team will evaluate whether the program helps Veterans drink less over time and thereby improve their health.


As many as 80% of Veterans with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) engage in harmful drinking. This is a major health challenge given that even light and moderate alcohol consumption can worsen the course and consequences of HCV and can be a barrier to receiving antiviral therapy. In response, the VA Uniform Mental Health Services Package has made it a priority that HCV and other ambulatory clinics provide evidence-based mental health services to all Veterans engaging in harmful drinking within two week (but preferably the same day as the clinic visit). The investigators' CREATE partners, the VA Office of Mental Health Services, VA Operations (10N), and the VA Office of Public Health, are strongly committed to achieving this standard throughout the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). However, the cost and organizational challenges to meeting this mandate in HCV clinics are enormous, but may be surmountable through the use of self-directed technology that minimizes demands on scarce staff time.

The primary objective of this study is to implement and evaluate a web-based brief alcohol intervention (BAI) for treating Veterans with HCV and seeking care at two VA HCV clinics - Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC). This study will have three aims: First (Aim 1), the investigators plan to assess patient, provider, and system factors that may impact the initial adoption of this intervention in two VA HCV clinics. These data will result in the development of a protocol for the initial implementation of the web-based BAI at the investigators' two study sites. A secondary aim will involve obtaining patient and provider feedback on an existing web-based BAI (see, VA Intranet Only) to help inform its redesign for use with this population. Second (Aim 2), the investigators will implement and examine the effectiveness of a web-based BAI in two HCV clinics to reduce alcohol consumption in Veterans with HCV at three- and six-months post-treatment. Third (Aim 3), the investigators will conduct a budget impact analysis to estimate the short-term costs (1-3 years) of adoption and diffusion of the web-based BAI and the trajectory of health care spending for study participants.

This mixed-methods study will utilize qualitative and quantitative methods to achieve its three primary aims. To address aim 1, qualitative interviews will be used to collect data that will inform the initial implementation and re-versioning of a web-based BAI for use in two HCV clinics located at the Palo Alto and San Francisco. To address aim 2, the investigators will use a randomized, hybrid (type 1) design with patient level clinical outcome data and formative evaluation data collected to examine the effectiveness of the web-based BAI. "Hybrid" designs also integrate formative evaluation into experimental designs to identify factors that impact the effectiveness of implementation efforts. Formative evaluation (e.g., site visits, clinic observation, and interviews with staff and patients) will be used to improve the adoption of the web-based BAI at both sites and to provide evidence-based guidance to the investigators' CREATE operational partners for nationwide implementation. To address aim 3, the investigators will conduct a budget impact analysis to estimate the short-term costs (1-3 years) of adoption and diffusion of the web-based BAI and the trajectory of health care spending for study participants. The investigators plan to collect several types of utilization data, including outpatient, inpatient, and pharmacy utilization, and calculate total dollars.


Hepatitis C Alcohol Abuse clinical trial veteran substance use disorder Hepatitis Hepatitis A Alcoholism Ethanol Web-Based Brief Alcohol Intervention Usual Care


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Must be a US military veteran.
  • Over the age of 17 with liver disease.
  • Must be receiving care at a VA liver clinic.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Those with no current or historical use of alcohol.


  • San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco California 94121 United States
  • VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
    Palo Alto California 94304-1290 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
VA Office of Research and Development
Study Type
Last Updated
March 9, 2018