Tuberculosis screening among foreign-born persons applying for permanent US residence

Am J Public Health. 2002 May;92(5):826-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.5.826.


Objectives: This study sought to determine adherence of physicians to tuberculosis (TB) screening guidelines among foreign-born persons living in the United States who were applying for permanent residency.

Methods: Medical forms of applicants from 5 geographic areas were reviewed, along with information from a national physician database on attending physicians. Applicant and corresponding physician characteristics were compared among those who were and were not correctly screened.

Results: Of 5739 applicants eligible for screening via tuberculin skin test, 75% were appropriately screened. Except in San Diego, where 11% of the applicants received no screening, most of the inappropriate screening resulted from the use of chest x-rays as the initial screening tool.

Conclusions: Focused physician education and periodic monitoring of adherence to screening guidelines are warranted.

MeSH terms

  • American Medical Association
  • California
  • Databases, Factual
  • Emigration and Immigration / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Government Agencies
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mass Chest X-Ray / statistics & numerical data*
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Physicians / standards
  • Public Health Practice / standards*
  • Tuberculin Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberculosis / ethnology
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*
  • United States