chapter  27
22 Pages

Tuberculosis Education

Tuberculosis (TB), the "deadly scourge" of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, still prevails, albeit considerably attenuated in areas of the world in which resources are plentiful. A number of factors have been suggested for the failure to eliminate TB in the United States, including the ability of the tubercle bacillus to cause disease after a potentially long latency, inadequate economic resources, patients' lack of adherence with long treatment regimens, immigration from TB-endemic countries, and physician error (1). Strategies have been developed to address each of these factors. TB control programs have concentrated on factors most amenable to intervention; among these are the knowledge base and skills of health-care providers. In the United States, where case rates are now on the decline after a marked upsurge in the late 1980s to early 1990s, educational efforts to assist in the prevention and control of tuberculosis have been intensified. This chapter focuses on why continuous availability of resources for provider education is critical to the elimination of tuberculosis and outlines current educational efforts.