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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing


This module covered the components of the TB interview for contact investigation.  It stated the objectives of the interview, the first and most important of which is contact identification.  Additional points included

  • Explanation of the interview as an individualized exchange of information;
  • Importance of formulating a strategy prior to conducting an interview;
  • Identifying who should be interviewed;
  • Determining an infectious period as a framework for the index patient in identifying contacts;
  • Determining circumstances under which to use respiratory protection with an infectious index patient;
  • The elements of the interview process, including:
    • Pre-interview activities
    • Introduction
    • Information and education exchange
    • Contact identification
    • Conclusion; and
    • Utilizing the re-interview process to confirm information and obtain additional information.

The TB interview process can be challenging, even for the most experienced interviewer.  The interviewer should be prepared to complete the objectives, but should anticipate a number of circumstances that can hinder this process.  The patient should receive education, and an emphasis should be placed on confidentiality at the beginning of the interview, during the contact elicitation process, and as needed.  Careful planning and ongoing assessment during the interview process can ease any challenges.


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
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