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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2004 Jan;8(1):76-82.

Cultural case management of latent tuberculosis infection.

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TB Control Program, Public Health-Seattle & King County, Seattle, Washington, USA.



The proportion of tuberculosis (TB) among foreign-born individuals in the United States is steadily increasing. Treatment of latent TB infection can prevent future cases of disease, although generally only 60% of patients who start a 6-month regimen of isoniazid complete therapy.


Cultural case management--employing case manager cultural mediators who serve patient-defined needs in addition to performing TB control functions--may improve results of testing and treatment in one high-risk group, new refugees.


A cultural case management approach was established for finding and treating latent TB infection among three groups of new refugees: from the former Soviet Union (FSU), former Yugoslavia (FY), and Somalia.


From July 1999 through December 2000, treatment was offered to 442 refugees, of whom 389 (88%) started and 319 (82%) completed therapy. The completion rate among starters from the FSU was 76%, for those from FY it was 94% and for those from Somalia it was 88%. Among all refugees to whom treatment was offered, 319/442 (72%) completed therapy.


Cultural case management may be a useful tool for expanding treatment of latent TB infection among foreign-born individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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