Setting: The proportion of tuberculosis (TB) among foreign-born individuals in the United States is steadily increasing. Treatment of latent TB infection can prevent future cases of disease, although generally only 60% of patients who start a 6-month regimen of isoniazid complete therapy.
Objective: Cultural case management--employing case manager cultural mediators who serve patient-defined needs in addition to performing TB control functions--may improve results of testing and treatment in one high-risk group, new refugees.
Design: A cultural case management approach was established for finding and treating latent TB infection among three groups of new refugees: from the former Soviet Union (FSU), former Yugoslavia (FY), and Somalia.
Results: From July 1999 through December 2000, treatment was offered to 442 refugees, of whom 389 (88%) started and 319 (82%) completed therapy. The completion rate among starters from the FSU was 76%, for those from FY it was 94% and for those from Somalia it was 88%. Among all refugees to whom treatment was offered, 319/442 (72%) completed therapy.
Conclusion: Cultural case management may be a useful tool for expanding treatment of latent TB infection among foreign-born individuals.