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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing

Module 2. Basics of Communication and Patient Education


After reading through this module, you will be able to

  • Explain why patient education is important in the TB interview process;
  • Define communication;
  • Identify verbal and nonverbal patient cues and their meanings;
  • Use closed, open-ended, and focused questions to gather descriptive, yet targeted information;
  • Utilize the techniques of reflection, paraphrasing, and summarizing to affect the course of the interview;
  • Address and overcome communication barriers;
  • Select, and communicate through, an appropriate interpreter; and
  • Apply effective communication concepts to patient education.


In order to accomplish the objectives of the TB interview, the interviewer must provide accurate and tailored patient education and utilize effective communication skills.  These skills, from the outset, will help provide the foundation of what will be an important relationship.  Ultimately, gaining trust, building rapport, and providing patient education will lead to the important TB interview objective of contact identification.


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

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to:, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333