The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum Proceedings
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March 1, 2005
In December 2003, the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE), National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme was Planting the Seeds for Future Research. The goals of the Forum were to identify and prioritize TB behavioral and social science research gaps; to use that information to develop a feasible, goal-oriented research agenda that will guide TB behavioral and social science activities over a 5-year period; and to foster productive partnerships and ongoing communications between national, state, and local governmental and nongovernmental behavioral and social science researchers focusing on tuberculosis (TB).
The Forum brought together over 60 academicians, researchers, TB controllers and program staff, and CDC representatives. The expectation was that their varied perspectives would contribute to the development of a research agenda addressing high priority behavioral and social aspects of TB prevention and control.
The Forum was convened to address the need for further TB behavioral and social science research, as called for in the Institute of Medicine’s 2000 report Ending Neglect: The Elimination of Tuberculosis in the United States. The Forum builds on the precedent of a 1994 workshop sponsored by CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, Tuberculosis and Behavior: National Workshop on Research for the 21st Century.
Behavioral and social science research has the potential to make a tremendous impact on efforts to prevent and control the spread of TB. This research is needed to understand the behaviors of both patients and providers, and the impact of their actions on TB-related care seeking, diagnosis, treatment success, and prevention. In addition, health care service delivery and systems research are needed to address the structure and organization of health systems as well as the environmental, economic, and sociopolitical issues and laws that impact the delivery of TB services.
Progress has been made at CDC in incorporating behavioral and social science perspectives into TB prevention and control; however, there is still much work to be done in this area. At CDC and elsewhere, behavioral and social scientists are currently engaged in research addressing a broad range of relevant sociocultural, behavioral, and structural issues. Further research should be conducted in a systematic manner, based on sound theories and using rigorous methodologies.
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DTBE is pleased to share with you the proceedings from the Forum. We hope that you will find the information of interest as you plan future behavioral and social science research and programmatic activities in your work addressing TB prevention and control.
If you have any specific questions or comments regarding the Forum or the Forum Proceedings, please join the TB Behavioral Science electronic mailing list at the following address: http://www.cdcnpin.org/scripts/listserv/tb_behavioral_science.asp.
Kenneth G. Castro, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention