Determinants of Tuberculosis Infection Control-Related Behaviors among Healthcare Workers in the Country of Georgia

Veriko Mirtskhulava, Jennifer A. Whitaker, Maia Kipiani, Drew A. Harris, Nino Tabagari, Ashli A. Owen-Smith, Russell R. Kempker, Henry M. Blumberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To better understand tuberculosis (TB) infection control (IC) in healthcare facilities (HCFs) in Georgia. DESIGN A cross-sectional evaluation of healthcare worker (HCW) knowledge, beliefs and behaviors toward TB IC measures including latent TB infection (LTBI) screening and treatment of HCWs. SETTING Georgia, a high-burden multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) country. PARTICIPANTS HCWs from the National TB Program and affiliated HCFs. METHODS An anonymous self-Administered 55-question survey developed based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) conceptual framework. RESULTS In total, 240 HCWs (48% physicians; 39% nurses) completed the survey. The overall average TB knowledge score was 61%. Only 60% of HCWs reported frequent use of respirators when in contact with TB patients. Only 52% of HCWs were willing to undergo annual LTBI screening; 48% were willing to undergo LTBI treatment. In multivariate analysis, HCWs who worried about acquiring MDR-TB infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28-2.25), who thought screening contacts of TB cases is important (aOR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.35-8.65), and who were physicians (aOR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.08-2.60) were more likely to accept annual LTBI screening. With regard to LTBI treatment, HCWs who worked in an outpatient TB facility (aOR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.11-0.58) or perceived a high personal risk of TB reinfection (aOR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.37-0.64) were less likely to accept LTBI treatment. CONCLUSION The concern about TB reinfection is a major barrier to HCW acceptance of LTBI treatment. TB IC measures must be strengthened in parallel with or prior to the introduction of LTBI screening and treatment of HCWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-528
Number of pages7
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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