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Cost effectiveness of the 2 step skin test for tuberculosis screening of employees in a community hospital

, : Cost effectiveness of the 2 step skin test for tuberculosis screening of employees in a community hospital. Infection Control (Thorofare) 5(12): 570-572

To assess the frequency of the booster effect as well as the need for and the cost effectiveness of the 2-step skin test for tuberculosis screening at the medical center, a pilot study was conducted from June 1980 to March 1983 with hospital and clinic employees. Six (0.4%) of 1521 employees tested by the 2-step skin test demonstrated the booster effect. The mean age of these 6 employees was 35 yr (range, 24-44 yr). During the study period, 10 employees converted to a positive skin test. The booster effect would have accounted for .apprx. 38% (6 of 16) of those converting if the 2-step testing were not performed. At the medical center, the additional cost of the 2-step skin test was low and justifiable for medical and epidemiologic reasons. It is suggested that each hospital review the prevalence of tuberculosis among its patient and employee populations. The need for and cost effectiveness of the 2-step skin test for new hospital employees must be re-examined on the basis of these data.


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