The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum Proceedings
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Section II. Presentations and Panel Discussions
Welcome Address: Behavioral and Social Sciences in Tuberculosis Elimination
Wanda Walton, Ph.D.
Chief, Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Day 1, Morning Session
Dr. Walton described the expanding role for behavioral scientists within the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) and highlighted current behavioral and social science projects involving providers and patients. Current provider-focused studies include research to identify barriers to the acceptance and implementation of the 2000 guidelines for targeted testing and treatment for latent TB infection (LTBI) among private providers, and development of strategies to overcome such barriers. A second study aims to identify factors that facilitate or hinder health care workers’ adherence to local protocols for administration of annual worksite tuberculosis skin tests (TST) and treatment of LTBI.
Current patient-focused studies include:
- An ethnographic study seeking to understand the culturally-mediated perceptions, attitudes, and experiences regarding TB among five foreign-born populations in the United States;
- Research to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate patient education materials on TB;
- An assessment of the usefulness of social network techniques to increase the identification of female contacts during contact investigations; and
- Research to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and culture-specific beliefs about LTBI among several high-risk groups.
Three studies recently initiated through the TB Epidemiological Studies Consortium include:
- Task Order 11: Addressing TB Disease among African Americans in the Southeast;
- Task Order 12: Assessing TB Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Practices Among Private Providers Serving Foreign-born Populations; and
- Task Order 14: Developing Culturally Appropriate Educational Materials for Hispanic Service Organizations.
Dr. Walton added that the research Forum is part of this expanding behavioral and social science capacity within the Division, and marks the beginning of the next 5-year cycle of DTBE’s activities in these disciplines.