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The public health management of tuberculosis among the single homeless: is mass miniature x ray screening effective?
  1. A Stevens,
  2. G Bickler,
  3. L Jarrett,
  4. N Bateman
  1. Lewisham and North Southwark Health Authority, London, United Kingdom.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to test the assumption that mass miniature x ray screening of the single homeless (hostel residents) is a cost-effective means of controlling pulmonary tuberculosis. DESIGN--The study was a prospective experimental screening exercise to identify new cases of active tuberculosis completing treatment. SETTING--The setting was eight hostels in south London. A mobile x ray screening facility was set up outside the hostels. SUBJECTS--Subjects were 547 single homeless residents in the hostels. They were encouraged to attend for chest x ray, and for active follow up of abnormal x rays. MAIN RESULTS--No new cases of active tuberculosis were found. CONCLUSIONS--Mass miniature x ray is ineffective in controlling tuberculosis because of its unacceptability and increasing inaccessibility to this population.

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