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Ask the Experts

This feature is brought to you by the TB ETN Membership Development Workgroup.


"Our staff members need more information on contact investigation interviewing skills. Many have worked here for a long time, but have not received any training in this. How can I get the buy-in from them to attend training at this point? Are there any resources to help plan an interesting class on interviewing?"


Interviewing skills are vital to effective contact investigation and are learned over time. Since your staff members have been in the clinic for a long time, they will likely have experiences to share. Rather than offering a “training session,” why not think about holding a case presentation event instead, and encourage each team member to contribute? This could then be followed by a summary presentation of the key points for a successful TB contact interview.

Focusing on real cases will help maintain interest and ensure that the session is relevant to the participants. The presentation at the end will allow a summary of the key points, with positive reinforcement of the work being done. If you find there’s interest, but your staff seem uncomfortable with the idea of presenting a case, lead off by discussing a case you were personally involved with. You might also want to consider putting together a simple case-reporting template to help your staff prepare their case descriptions. That way, everyone will feel confident that they’ve assembled all the necessary information.

Key points regarding interviewing skills can be summarized and emphasized by the facilitator (you) after the staff members have given examples of effective and non-effective methods.

There are several excellent training guides available to help you. You might want to look at the following and see what works best for you and your staff.

1. Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigations materials

The Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigations materials include a facilitator-led training guide, self-study modules, and a video. The materials can be used together or on their own. Each material can be ordered separately on the DTBE online publication order form.

Facilitator-Led Training Guide: The Facilitator-Led Training Guide is an interactive, skill-building guide designed to improve the knowledge and proficiency of TB staff responsible for conducting the TB interview. The guide is intended for facilitators who will be conducting TB interviewing courses.

2. Regional Training and Medical Consultation Centers' TB Training and Education Products

Manuals in PDF Format
Performance Guidelines for Contact Investigation: The TB Interview This manual provides a structured plan for the training, development and evaluation of healthcare workers involved in contact investigation. 2000 New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute
TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: A Practical Resource for the Healthcare Worker This resource includes an interview checklist and detailed TB interview outline booklet. The checklist identifies the five components of a TB interview: pre-interview activities, introduction, information/education exchange, contact identification and conclusion, detailed in the outline. 2000 New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute
TB Simulated Patients: A Training Resource for the Contact Investigation Interview The manual describes the methods for utilizing patient scenarios for interviewing training and provides accompanying materials for the roles of the index patient, interviewer and supervisor/observer 2001 New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute
Tuberculosis Contact Investigation in Congregate Settings: A Resource for Evaluation This resource is designed for use in the evaluation of contact investigations in congregate settings. 2004 New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute
Addressing HIV/AIDS Issues in TB Contact Investigation: A Guide for Contact Investigators, Managers and Trainers (PDF)


This guide aims to strengthen the contact investigator’s skills in engaging clients in discussion about HIV counseling, testing, and referral. 2004 Charles P. Felton National Tuberculosis Center at Harlem Hospital (Partner of the Northeastern RTMCC)
Web-Based Conferences
Tuberculosis Education and the Congregate Setting Contact Investigation: A Resource for the Public Health Worker This web-based resource will assist public health workers as they plan and conduct an effective TB education session in the congregate setting. 2004 New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute
Working with TB Patients with Mental Health Issues The web-based conference is for TB control staff who work in clinical or field settings. Patients’ mental health issues can adversely impact TB treatment adherence and completion, as well as successful contact investigation. 2006 NJMS Global Tuberculosis Institute
The TB Congregate Setting Contact Investigation This web-based course will cover the components of conducting a contact investigation in a congregate setting. It will include the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National TB Controllers Association guidelines. 2006 NJMS Global Tuberculosis Institute
TB Communication for Contact Investigations in Workplaces and Congregate Settings This web-based conference for TB control staff covered effective TB communication as part of the investigation of a possible TB exposure in a workplace or congregate setting. 2006 NJMS Global Tuberculosis Institute
Basics of TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation This web-based conference is for physicians and other providers who manage the evaluation and treatment of contacts to infectious TB cases. 2006 NJMS Global Tuberculosis Institute

Do you have a question about TB education, training, and communication issues? In each edition of TB Notes, a TB education and training expert will answer questions about these issues and topics submitted by TB Notes readers. Just submit your question to Please keep your questions as brief as possible. Please note, we reserve the right to edit questions.

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