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Understanding the TB Cohort Review Process: Instruction Guide 2006

About These Materials

This document will explain what the cohort review method is, how to use it to enhance your current TB control activities, and how to adapt it to your own program area.  It is intended primarily for the management team—the program manager, medical reviewer, and epidemiologist or data analyst—or the staff person who performs these functions in your program area.  It will also be a useful training resource and reference tool for case managers and their supervisors as they participate in reviewing the outcomes of treatment for TB disease and contact investigations.

The document can be used for self-study or for organizing training for groups of staff who will be involved in the cohort review.  A 22-minute videotape, Understanding the TB Cohort Review Process, accompanies this guide.  The videotape brings the cohort review process to life, illustrates the benefits of adopting cohort review, and highlights the roles of the cohort review team members.  Quotes from TB cohort review experts appearing in the video are presented in this document to provide testimony about their experiences with implementing the cohort review process.

After you have read this guide and completed the exercises, you will be able to

  • Define the cohort review approach
  • Discuss the roles key TB control staff play in the cohort review process
  • List the three essential elements of the cohort review process
  • Plan how to adapt and implement the cohort review method in your program area

The document is organized into the following sections:

  • Definition of the cohort review approach, its context, and its history
  • Roles of key TB control staff in a cohort review
  • Timeline for conducting cohort reviews
  • Three key elements in the process
  • Guidance on tailoring the cohort review to your program area
  • Glossary, Bibliography, and Resources

Many of the tools and processes in this guide are modeled on the highly successful program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Tuberculosis Control (BTBC).  It is recognized that each program area is different, in its TB epidemiology as well as in its TB control and prevention efforts.  It is not true that one size fits all.  However, in any setting the principles of systematic review and accountability that are fostered by the cohort review method can help improve overall program performance.


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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