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Am J Public Health. 1998 May;88(5):792-6.

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

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  • 1Center for Behavioral Research and Services, California State University, Long Beach 90813, USA.



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.


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.


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%.


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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