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The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum Proceedings

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Executive Summary

In December 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) convened the TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum: Planting the Seeds for Future Research. The Forum’s overarching goal was to identify and prioritize TB behavioral and social science research needs, which will be used to develop a research agenda for TB prevention, control, and treatment. These Forum Proceedings include summaries of presentations and discussions, as well as a synthesis of research needs and priorities identified by attendees.

Forum presentations addressed behavioral and social science research in TB, including CDC’s current research activities in these disciplines. Dr. Jessica Ogden and Dr. Masae Kawamura delivered keynote addresses on the role of behavioral and social sciences in TB control, and how research can improve TB treatment and control programs. Other speakers presented specific research findings addressing cultural, social, and environmental influences on TB education and patient adherence to treatment. A panel of patients and providers described their firsthand experiences with local TB programs. In addition, a panel of scientists described strategies to disseminate and translate research findings into practice.

The Forum included breakout sessions for participants to identify needs and priorities for TB behavioral and social science research. Section III of the Forum Proceedings is a compilation of the results of the breakout sessions. The identified topics, subtopics, methodologies, and research questions have been organized using five broad levels of influence based on a socio-ecological framework. The five broad levels, along with a few examples, are listed below:

  • Intrapersonal: patients’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions (KAP); health-seeking behaviors; acceptance of and adherence to treatment; patient satisfaction; social stigma; and providers’ KAP, training, and practices
  • Interpersonal: communication between patients and providers; family and peer influences
  • Health systems and organizations: organizational structure (including collaboration between provider communities and systems; impact of sharing patient information); service delivery; contact investigations; health communications; and special challenges of high risk settings and populations
  • Community: impact of TB services on communities and patients
  • Public policy: government commitment and funding; health insurance and immigration policies

Forum participants’ presentations and discussions reaffirmed the ongoing need for behavioral and social science research to improve TB prevention and control. It is CDC’s hope that the Forum Proceedings will be widely used to plan future behavioral and social science research and programmatic activities to enhance TB prevention and control.

The Forum Proceedings document is divided into four main sections:

Section I: Introduction and Background

  • Introduction
  • Background information on TB behavioral and social science research

Section II: Presentations and Panel Discussions

  • Summaries of Forum presentations and panel discussions

Section III: Results of Breakout Group Sessions

  • Identification of TB behavioral and social science research gaps and needs
  • Outline and descriptions of major TB behavioral and social science research topics and subtopics identified at the Forum

Section IV: Appendices

  • Forum agenda
  • Presentation slides
  • List of major TB behavioral and social science research topics, subtopics, and questions
  • Participant list
  • References

For more information about the CDC DTBE Forum,
join the TB Behavioral and Social Science Electronic Mailing List

 
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