Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules

Return to Module 3 Table of Contents

Module 3.Cultural Competency


After reading through this module, you will be able to

  • Describe the concepts of culture and cultural competency;
  • Identify various factors that contribute to an individual’s culture;
  • Understand why cultural competency is essential in TB interviewing;
  • Assess the communication process based on a patient’s verbal and nonverbal cues; and
  • Limit the barriers of language, dialect, lifestyle, and belief differences during an interview.


Culture is shaped by experiences and life events that contribute to a person’s beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors. Culture may also affect the ways in which a person communicates, both verbally and nonverbally, and understands information. Interviewers should be aware of the diversity of all individuals they encounter and how cultural factors may affect the course of the interview.

Cultural competency is the sensitivity to and awareness of the various factors that shape a person’s identity. It is an important skill for a TB interviewer and encompasses the ability to work with and care for diverse individuals to meet their cultural needs without compromising their health or that of the public.

The populations affected by TB are very diverse. TB affects a disproportionate number of non US-born individuals, migrants, people who travel extensively to and from TB-endemic countries, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and other distinct groups. While local TB epidemiology varies greatly from area to area, cultural competency is important in TB interviewing in all geographic locations.

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE)
    1600 Clifton Rd., NE
    MS E10
    Atlanta, GA 30329
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO
  • Page last reviewed: September 21, 2014
  • Page last updated: November 24, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO