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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing


This module covered the basics of communication and patient education.† Main points included

  • The importance of patient education in the TB interview process;
  • Communication as an exchange of information involving asking questions and active listening;
  • Assessment of verbal and nonverbal cues to assist in determining the level of the patientís comfort, understanding, and sincerity;
  • Eliciting information through open-ended, closed-ended, and focused questions;
  • Demonstrating active listening through reflection, paraphrasing, and summarizing;
  • Addressing and overcoming communication barriers by eliminating physical barriers, actively listening, interviewing in patient-focused circumstances, and engaging a proxy, if needed; and
  • Choosing an effective interpreter who keeps in mind that the patient is the primary source of information.

An understanding and application of these essential components will enhance the TB interview. These components will also allow the communication and education to proceed more smoothly, meeting the objectives of the interview process.


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