The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum Proceedings
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Section II. Presentations and Panel Discussions
Welcome Address: Behavioral and Social Science Research in Tuberculosis Control
Kenneth Castro, M.D.
Director, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Day 1, Morning Session
Dr. Castro’s presentation on the role of behavioral and social scientists in TB control set the framework for the discussions that would guide the Forum. Drawing from research efforts in TB control that preceded the Forum, he specifically cited recommendations from the 1994 CDC/NIH national workshop to set a research agenda on Improving Tuberculosis Treatment and Control, and also cited the call for behavioral science research from the 2000 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Ending Neglect: Eliminating Tuberculosis in the United States.
These efforts have helped shape the role of, and need for, behavioral and social science research in TB control. Dr. Castro outlined the TB research needed in these disciplines:
- Individual and interpersonal health behavior research is needed to address patient behaviors related to care seeking and adherence, provider behavior, and health care service delivery.
- Systems research is needed to address the structure and organization of health systems; environmental, economic, and sociopolitical dynamics; and policies and laws.
Behavioral and social scientists are conducting research to identify, understand, and address a broad range of relevant sociocultural, behavioral, and structural issues. They are also conducting systematic, theory-based multidisciplinary research based on scientifically rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental designs.
Although the ultimate purpose of the forthcoming TB behavioral and social science research agenda is to guide CDC research in these areas, Dr. Castro said he hoped that the research agenda would also be used to inform ongoing development and refinement of TB control strategies and policies for sister agencies, task forces, and academic institutions.