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TB Notes 2, 2004


New PDA Application for the Treatment of Tuberculosis

The May 2000 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the status of TB elimination in the United States highlighted numerous needs in education and training and provided recommendations in this area to aid in making U.S. TB elimination a reality. One highlighted need was that public and private health care provider experience with assessing and managing TB diagnostic or treatment issues will decline as the number of TB cases decline. To ensure competency among health care providers, the report recommended that a variety of methods be used for education, training, and reference material.

In response to the IOM report and based on recent literature that shows that health care providers frequently use personal digital assistants (PDAs) to access medical information, the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) has developed a PDA application based on the 2003 Treatment of TB guidelines. This new tool provides accurate, useful TB treatment information that is readily available at the point of care. The application can be easily downloaded from the DTBE’s Web site at Features of the application include the following: 

  • An interactive module that captures patient data and evaluates the need for treatment
  • Text-based modules containing information about
    • treatment regimens
    • antituberculosis drugs
    • managing treatment interruptions

Development of the PDA application followed a systematic health education process that included extensive pretesting with potential users. After DTBE, the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) collaborated to compile accurate and useful content, a prototype of the application was developed and pretested with nurses and physicians, i.e., potential users. The pretest was conducted by observing these users as they worked through sample scenarios. This process enabled DTBE to identify ways to improve the application’s design and thereby enhance a user’s experience. To ensure that the modifications made as a result of the pretest were effective, additional tests were conducted with users in both controlled and everyday environments.

Comprehensive pretesting of the PDA application was an essential component in creating an interactive user-friendly tool for health care providers to use at the point of care. Please visit DTBE’s Web site at to download a copy of the application for your PDA. If you have comments that could help us make the application a more useful tool, please send comments to

—Reported by Betsy Carter, MPH, CHES
Div of TB Elimination


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