The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has new informational materials for patients at risk for latent tuberculosis infection. These materials aim to teach patients what TB infection is and motivate them to start and complete treatment if diagnosed. The materials are designed to encourage provider-patient interactions for active learning through the process of testing and treatment decisions. We encourage providers to use these materials as a continuum, as they build upon each other.
MDPH has drawn upon health literacy best practices to develop patient-centered materials. Each features recognizable icons and images that convey key messages about testing and treatment. To ensure that materials are easy to understand, MDPH tested them with members of the target population. To reach refugees, immigrants and others with limited English proficiency, all materials are available in bilingual formats for 17 languages. Each is also available in English only.
Purpose: Change how people perceive TB infection
- You can have TB infection and feel healthy
- Testing and treatment for TB are available
- Share with persons at risk for TB infection
- Hang as a poster in waiting rooms or offices
Purpose: Motivate patients who test positive to accept treatment
- TB infection can turn into TB disease
- People with TB infection don’t feel sick and can’t give TB to their families
- People with TB disease do feel sick and can give TB to their families
- It is important to take medicine for TB infection so it doesn’t turn into TB disease
- Use as a conversation starter with patients who test positive for TB infection
- Give to patients who test positive for TB infection
Purpose: Provide patients with a treatment guide that is easy to follow
- When to take your medicine
- How many pills to take and for how long
- What to do if you have side effects
- How to contact your doctor
- Fill out with a patient during the medical visit when the patient begins their TB treatment
- Continue to review and reference during follow-up visits
Purpose: Help patients to stay adherent to their treatment regimen
- Date and time of your next visit
- You will get more medicine at your next visit
- There are many strategies you can use to remember to take your medicine
- Fill out with a patient during the medical visit when the patient starts TB treatment and each follow-up visit
The MDPH materials are not intended to cover every aspect of TB infection and TB disease. They focus on specific, actionable messages. Providers may supplement these with additional materials produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations.
The MDPH materials are available on the MDPH website: www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/id/tb/public-health-cdc-tb-prevention.html . The CDC materials are available at www.cdc.gov/tb/education/patient_edmaterials.htm.