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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing

The TB interview

The TB interview is initiated to identify contacts at risk of exposure to refer for medical evaluation for TB infection or disease.  Because of this goal, only certain patients need to be interviewed.  These include patients who

  • Have been diagnosed with verified TB (excluding most forms of extrapulmonary TB, but including pleural effusion or miliary TB with cough and laryngeal TB);
  • Are suspected of having pulmonary, laryngeal, or pleural TB;
  • Have been diagnosed with any form of verified TB, abnormal chest x-ray, positive tuberculin skin test which indicates recent TB transmission (for example, a documented converter who has developed disease or a young child).

The TB interview is conducted with individuals who may have put others at risk of contracting TB.  In addition, if there is evidence of recent TB transmission, a source case investigation may be initiated.  Like a contact investigation, this process attempts to locate a patient’s contacts, referred to as associates.  In this case, the associate is viewed as the “source,” or the person who transmitted TB infection and not the recipient of TB infection due to prolonged exposure to the index case.  For this reason, it is recommended that interviews be conducted with the following groups: parents or guardians of children 2 years of age and younger who have TB infection, and children 4 years of age and younger with TB disease or chest x-ray findings consistent with TB-related abnormalities.  Guidelines for interviews for source case investigations are covered in Module 4. 


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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