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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Facilitator Led Training Guide


6. Course Design

Type of Training

Individuals have different ways in which they best learn information. Earlier, it was discussed that most adults learn best by participating in activities that reflect their experiences and are relevant to their work. People also grasp concepts best from varying media. For most, reading about and listening to information on a certain topic leads to some information retention. However, demonstration and practicing skills are among the best ways to learn and retain information. As such, the interviewing course should utilize varied training methods.

Class Size

Because skill building is a key component in this course, it is presented as an interactive learning experience. Using this style of teaching, the class size should be small and well planned for group activities. It is recommended that the class size be no more than 15-18 people. If you wish to deviate from that number, please attempt to form class sizes in multiples of three, as many of the exercises in this training rely on triads.

Participants’ Prerequisites

The training provided in this guide is based on several participant prerequisites. The participant should

  1.  Have TB interviewing as part of his or her job responsibilities;

  2. Read the CDC Self-Study Modules on Tuberculosis, Modules 1-9, or demonstrate a proficiency in the topics of TB transmission and contact investigation prior to attending the course; and

  3. Read the Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules prior to attending the course.

These course prerequisites will provide a foundation in TB knowledge and TB interviewing. As such, the course can then be focused on TB interviewing skills building.

You may also want to test the course participants’ knowledge on the Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules prior to the course. You may decide if participants should meet a minimum knowledge requirement prior to participating in the course. A test can be put together by choosing several existing questions from the modules.


Interactive activities for this course consist of the following formats:

  • Written exercises

  • Role plays

  • Simulated patient interviews

  • Group interviews

The exercises will be described in greater detail in the Course Activities section starting on page 29

Facilitator Preparation

Every trainer has a personal style of preparation and delivery. A useful way to begin preparing for the course is to review the Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules to become familiar with the content with which the participants will be coming to the course. You should become familiar with the content to ensure that you can respond to any questions or concerns that may arise during the course of training. Other issues may be anticipated from reading the modules, this Facilitator’s Guide, and the summary of the needs assessment. To prepare for these issues

  • Develop personal anecdotes or illustrative examples to contextualize a teaching point;

  • Arrange for additional facilitators or speakers who may have expertise in a particular topic area; and

  • Plan to deal with special or sensitive issues.

  • In addition, these other suggestions may assist you in facilitating this course:

  • Find out what noninterviewing duties the participants have. Noninterviewing duties may include directly observed therapy (DOT), skin testing, follow-up of contacts, congregate-setting contact investigation, or case management. This knowledge will assist in determining the nature of the interviews participants will be involved in and how often they may be in contact with patients after an initial interview.

  • Anticipate different training groups. Occasionally, there may be persons who have not read the prerequisite materials thoroughly because of other responsibilities. Certain terms and concepts may need to be reviewed to bring everyone to the same level.

  • Form participant groups thoughtfully. You should give careful thought to which participants should be placed together for activities, because these groupings can influence the dynamics and results of activities both positively and negatively. It is helpful, however, to obtain a list of how long each of the participants has done TB interviewing. This way the groups can be mixed. Less experienced persons can learn from more experienced participants. Some participants may have interview experience from other disciplines that can also be factored into forming groups. Caution: just because they have been doing interviews for a long time does not mean they have been doing them effectively.

  • As much as possible, participants should be grouped with people they do not know. While in groups with unknown individuals, participants will see how others conduct interviews in a variety of settings. If little information is known about the participants prior to the course, groups can be formed by simply having participants count off. For example, if an exercise involves three groups, participants should count off by threes. Then all persons with the same number belong to the same groups.


The training agenda should be tailored to the needs of the participants and the programs in which they work. Course organizers should consider tailoring the course content and time allotted for each activity based on the participants’ needs. The agenda should also include activities that will result in meeting the pre-determined course objectives. Activity timings can be found on page 31. This may be helpful in formulating an agenda, which should be based on the time available and participants’ needs.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333