Transmission of tuberculosis (TB) has a negative impact on patients, personnel and hospitals.
This descriptive study aimed to determine implementation, obstacles and supporting needs of Thai
hospitals in preventing TB transmission. Data were collected by using self-administered questionnaire
developed by the researchers from the Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium
tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings 2005 of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The questionnaire was sent to an infection control nurse of 524 hospitals, including 93 regional and
general government hospitals, 316 community hospitals randomly selected from 45% of all community
government hospitals, 8 university government hospitals, 33 other government hospitals and 74
private hospitals randomly selected from 111 private hospitals with 100 beds and more in all regions
of the country. The study was conducted during May to September 2009. The response rate was
The study results revealed that 93.6%, 73.9% and 47.3% of hospitals have implemented
measures of respiratory tract disease prevention, administrative controls, and environmental controls,
respectively. The most important obstacle in preventing TB transmission in hospitals was an
insufficient number of isolation rooms (80.2%), other obstacles were having an inappropriate area to
conduct the physical examination for TB patients (51.8%) and insufficient time for screening suspected
TB patients (50.2%). Most hospitals needed technical support for their ventilation system (86.3%),
training for personnel in charge of TB patients (76.8%), guidelines for preventing TB transmission in
hospitals (71.3%), guidelines for screening TB patients in the outpatient department (69.7%) and
screening forms for TB patients (60.2%).
Relevant organization should provide guidelines for preventing TB transmission, including guideline
for educating hospital personnel on caring for TB patients and preventing TB transmission for
every hospital and support expert consultation on hospital environment, especially ventilation
system, so that the hospitals can prevent TB transmission efficiently.