Acceptability of latent tuberculosis testing of migrants in a college environment in England

C. L. Walker*, K. Duffield, H. Kaur, M. Dedicoat, Roger Gajraj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The majority of tuberculosis (TB) cases in England occur from reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in the settled migrant population. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends that new entrants from high-incidence countries are screened to detect LTBI. This article seeks to describe an outreach programme and testing for LTBI in an innovative setting—ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes at a community college (CC) with evaluation of acceptability. Study design: Partnership working with mixed methods used for evaluation of acceptability. Methods: A pre-existing network from the local TB partnership designed an outreach intervention and screening for LTBI among students from an ESOL programme at a CC. Screening for LTBI with interferon gamma release assay was the culmination of a programme of health improvement activities across the college. Any student on the ESOL programme younger than the age of 35 years and resident in the UK for less than 5 years was eligible for testing. LTBI testing was carried out on-site, and the experience was evaluated by questionnaires to staff, students and partners. A facilitated debrief among the partners gave further data. Results: A total of 440 eligible students were tested. One hundred and seventy-two student feedback questionnaires were completed, and 36 partner questionnaires were received with 18 CC staff responding. Students, tutors and healthcare professionals found the setting acceptable with some concerns about insufficient resource for timely follow-up. Conclusions: Students, tutors, community organisations and health professionals found the exercise worthwhile and the method and setting acceptable. There were resource issues for the clinical team in follow-up of students with positive results for such a large screening event. Unexpected barriers were found by the CC as this kind of activity was not recognised for external quality review purposes. There were concerns about reputational loss and stigma of being involved in a TB project. As current initiatives aim to divert workload from stretched general practice surgeries, this may be an important addition to primary care screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health


  • Acceptability
  • Latent TB infection
  • Partnerships
  • School or college
  • Screening
  • Stigma


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