Objectives: To determine, subsequent to the expansion of a county health department's refugee screening process from a one-step to a two-step process, the change in early loss to follow-up and time to initiation of treatment of new refugees with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Study design: Quasi-experimental, quantitative. Methods: Review of patient medical records. Results: Among 384 refugees who met the case definition of LTBI without prior tuberculosis (TB) classification, the number of cases lost to early follow-up fell from 12.5% to 0% after expansion to a two-step screening process. The average interval between in-country arrival and initiation of LTBI treatment was shortened by 41.4%. Discussion: The addition of a second step to the refugee screening process was correlated with significant improvements in the county's success in tracking and treating cases of LTBI in refugees. Given the disproportionate importance of foreign-born cases of LTBI to the incidence of TB disease in low-incidence countries, these improvements could have a substantial impact on overall TB control, and the process described could serve as a model for other local health department refugee screening programs.
- Latent tuberculosis
- Refugee screening