CDC Logo Tuberculosis Information CD-ROM   Image of people
jump over main navigation bar to content area
TB Guidelines
Surveillance Reports
Slide Sets
TB-Related MMWRs and Reports
Education/Training Materials
Ordering Information


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing

Active Listening

Active listening is an effective component of communication and is an essential communication technique that should be used when conducting a TB interview.† Active listening is not only hearing what people say, but paying attention to how it is said as well† so that further dialogue can be adjusted to elicit the needed responses.†

Active listening will

  • Provide insight into problems the patient has that might impede his or her adherence;
  • Provide insight into how the patient may behave in future situations;
  • Help to gain information; and
  • Convey to the patient a sense of concern and care.

Active listening allows the patient to speak without interruption and allows the interviewer to

  • Absorb information to respond to the patientís questions and concerns;
  • Follow the patientís train of thought;
  • Pay attention to nonverbal clues;
  • Validate unspoken feelings; and
  • Verify the patientís understanding of the interview questions.


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