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Am J Public Health. 1998 May; 88(5): 792–796.
PMCID: PMC1508952

Tuberculosis screening and compliance with return for skin test reading among active drug users.


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the independent and combined effects of different levels of monetary incentives and a theory-based educational intervention on return for tuberculosis (TB) skin test reading in a sample of active injection drug and crack cocaine users. Prevalence of TB infection in this sample was also determined. METHODS: Active or recent drug users (n = 1004), recruited via street outreach techniques, were skin tested for TB. They were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 levels of monetary incentive ($5 and $10) provided at return for skin test reading, alone or in combination with a brief motivational education session. RESULTS: More than 90% of those who received $10 returned for skin test reading, in comparison with 85% of those who received $5 and 33% of those who received no monetary incentive. The education session had no impact on return for skin test reading. The prevalence of a positive tuberculin test was 18.3%. CONCLUSIONS: Monetary incentives dramatically increase the return rate for TB skin test reading among drug users who are at high risk of TB infection.

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