In what is acknowledged as a world first, the AHA published the Consensus Based Nursing Guidelines for the Care of Patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, advanced liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in 2012 to help hepatology nurses deliver the highest standard of nursing care to their patients.
These Guidelines are intended to be used in conjunction with the AHA Practice Standards produced in 2008 and reviewed in 2015.
Another review of the guideines began in March 2018. A Project Consultant was employed to coordinate the review process. Working groups (WG) were convened for each disease area (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, advanced liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)) and consisted of AHA members who volunteered to participate. In order to ensure the WGs were representative of the target audience, additional members were purposively invited to join the WGs based on their primary work speciality and/or professional interest. The WGs focused on the development of Domain 1 – The Nurse’s Role in Caring for People with, or at risk of, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Advanced Liver Disease and HCC. Each WG was led by an experienced Hepatology Nurse and met regularly via teleconference to consider and document the current role of the nurse in caring for people with liver disease. Members of each WG provided expert advice regarding current research and guidelines underpinning contemporary nursing. Several iterations of feedback were provided by the WGs between June and December 2018, incorporated by the WG Chairs and then refined by the Project Consultant. Following this, Domain 1 was reviewed by nursing and medical experts in January 2019, for accuracy and relevance.
The Project Consultant worked closely with the Working Groups to edit and revise the Introduction and Domains 2 to 5. Clear feedback from the AHA membership indicated that AHA Consensus-based Nursing Guidelines could be written more concisely. Hence the revised version is intended to be lean and succinct in order to encourage implementation of the content into practice.
The guidelines are the result of the skills and professionalism of the Project Managers, Dr Jacqui Richmond and Ms Emily Wheeler, and the significant contribution of the AHA's working groups and review panel.
The 2018/19 working groups are:
Hepatitis B Working Group: Suzanne Sheppard-Law (Chair), Matthew Maddison, Catherine Stevens, Jaclyn Tate-Baker, Dale Thompson.
Hepatitis C Working Group: Sinead Sheils (Chair), Julie Elms, Sue Mason, Katherine McQuillan, Shirley Ng, Lisa Strothers, Dale Thompson.
Advanced Liver Disease Working Group: Penny Wright (Chair), Catherine Brannigan, Burglind Liddle, Francisca Neveu-Coble, Frances Pekin, Phoebe Trinidad, Jana Van Der Jagt.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma Working Group: Megan O'Dea (Chair), Sally Spruce-Giles, Crystal Connelly.
Expert Review Panel: Associate Professor Joe Sasadeusz (Hepatitis B); Leanne Myers and Associate Professor Joe Sasadeusz (Hepatitis C); Rachel Wundke and Associate Professor Simone Strasser (Advanced Liver Disease); Dr Michael Wallace and Barbara Moore (HCC).
The info-graphics from within the guidelines are available below, as separate files. We recommend these are printed as A3.