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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Self-Study Modules for Effective TB Interviewing


This module provided an overview of the principles of cultural competency needed for TB interviewing.† It included

  • A definition of culture as the variables and life events that contribute to a personís beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors;
  • A definition of cultural competency as the sensitivity to and awareness of various factors that may shape a personís identity;
  • The variables that comprise culture, such as race, gender, ethnicity, geographical origin or location, spirituality/religion/faith, sexual orientation, age, nationality, language/dialect, and disability;
  • How the interviewerís own culture, communication style, language, and attention to differences in behaviors and beliefs can contribute to the interactive process with the patient; and
  • How observing and respecting nontraditional living, working, and social circumstances may play a role in eliciting appropriate contacts.

Cultural competency cannot be learned only by reading and absorbing generic information about various groups.† Cultural competency is a set of skills developed by remaining aware of patient diversity through verbal and nonverbal cues and engaging the patient in information exchange while demonstrating respect, objectivity, and willingness to learn about the patientís culture. Developing these skills is the best way to conduct an effective interview and build rapport with patients from diverse backgrounds.


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
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333