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The Pediatric Forum
January 2006

Can We Improve the Return Rate for Tuberculin Skin Test Readings?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(1):106. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.1.106-a

Tuberculosis continues to cause disease in the United States despite effective treatment and a simple screening test. The Pediatric Practice of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, a tertiary care children’s hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, serves an inner-city population. It is located in Cuyahoga County, which had the highest number of reported tuberculosis cases in Ohio in 2003.1 The Pediatric Practice follows American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for targeted tuberculin skin testing by screening all children by questionnaire to identify high-risk patients.2 Children with positive screening questionnaires have a tuberculin skin test placed, receive a reminder card, and are asked to return in 48 to 72 hours without an appointment required. The return rate is approximately 50%, lower than desired but similar to that of other studies with comparable populations.3-5 Ozuah and colleagues5 have shown previously that an additional telephone call increases the return rate at 72 hours.

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