Active Case Finding of Tuberculosis: Randomized Evaluation of Simple and Infotainment Chest Camps

Ann Glob Health. Sep-Oct 2016;82(5):813-818. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.07.001.


Background: In Pakistan, many tuberculosis (TB) cases are not reported to the national surveillance system. An active case finding strategy in the form of conventional (simple) or innovative (infotainment) chest camps can contribute to diagnosing these missed cases.

Objective: To compare the yield in terms of TB patients detected at a simple chest camp (SCC) versus an infotainment chest camp (ICC) in rural areas.

Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial with 2 parallel arms was conducted in 4 districts of Pakistan from June 2012 to May 2013. Rural neighborhoods (n = 318) were randomly allocated in a ratio of 1:3 to receive either SCC or ICC. Incidence of TB (all forms and sputum smear positive [SS+]) and number needed to screen (NNS) to diagnose 1 TB case were calculated. Cluster analysis was done according to intention to treat and risk ratio (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Findings: A total of 3086 participants were tested at the SCC and 9029 at the ICC, of whom 38.5% were female. Mean age was 37.4 ± 15.9 years. Incidences of previously undiagnosed TB (all forms) for SCC and ICC were 23.6 (95% CI 20.04-27.4) and 22.1 (95% CI 20.3-24.1) per 100,000 population (P = .42), SS+ TB 22.5 (95% CI 19.3-26.1) and 21.6 (95% CI 19.8-23.6) (P = .67), respectively. NNS to diagnose 1 TB case were 260 (95% CI 234.3-289.6) and 258 (95% CI 233.3-287.9) for SCC and ICC, respectively (P = .9). RRs for all forms of TB and SS+ TB in SCC compared to ICC were 0.94 (95% CI 0.73-1.19) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.74-1.22) and P values were .58 and .71, respectively.

Conclusions: Both types of chest camps are equally effective in active case finding of previously undiagnosed TB cases in rural areas in 2 provinces in Pakistan.

Keywords: active case finding; chest camp; number needed to screen; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Community Health Services / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Sputum / microbiology*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Young Adult