Setting: A survey conducted in San Diego County.
Objective: To assess local physicians' knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding tuberculosis (TB).
Methods: The survey consisted of questions covering diagnosis and treatment of active disease, diagnosis and treatment of latent infection, and infection control. The survey was sent to physicians who reported a TB case or suspect to the local health department in the years 1995-1997.
Results: Of the 384 physicians in this group, 150 (39%) returned the survey form. The percentage of physicians whose response conformed to health department guidelines varied widely from question to question (51%-94%, median 83%). Pulmonary medicine and infectious diseases specialists, physicians educated completely in the United States (US), and physicians who treated six or more TB patients in the past 2 years were more likely to give answers in agreement with health department policies.
Conclusions: Because the response rate to the survey was low, these findings may not be completely representative of the targeted group of physicians. Nevertheless, they may indicate that health care provider education about TB management standards is needed.