Knowledge, experiences, and attitudes toward Mantoux test among medical and health professional students in Italy: a cross-sectional study

M. T. Montagna, S. Mascipinto, C. Pousis, F. P. Bianchi, G. Caggiano, L. F. Carpagnano, O. De Giglio, G. Barbuti, F. Auxilia, A. Destrebecq, S. Castaldi, T. Baldovin, A. Bargellini, E. Righi, G. Boccia, E. Santoro, B. Casini, A. Baggiani, R. Novati, R. OrianiA. Odone, A. G. Mezzoiuso, G. B. Orsi, C. Napoli, C. Pasquarella, L. Veronesi, G. Ripabelli, M. L. Sammarco, A. Rossini, R. Squeri, P. Laganà, G. M. Antonuccio, C. Genovese, S. Tardivo, I. Torre, R. Alfano, F. Pennino, M. V. Torregrossa, M. Barchitta, A. Agodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization's Action Framework for tuberculosis elimination in low-tuberculosis incidence countries includes the screening for active and latent tuberculosis in selected high-risk groups, including health care workers. In this context, medical and health profession students, exposed to nosocomial tuberculosis transmission during training and clinical rotations, are target populations for tuberculosis screening. No updated data are available on tuberculosis screening practice and knowledge of medical and health profession students in Italy.

METHODS: Within the activities Italian Study Group on Hospital Hygiene of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, we carried out a multicentre cross-sectional study to assess knowledge, attitude and practices on tuberculosis prevention and control among Medical, Dentistry, Nursing and other health professions' students. Students were enrolled in the study on a voluntary basis and were administered a previously piloted structured questionnaire. Logistic regression models were applied to explore knowledge on tuberculosis prevention by selected socio-demographic variables and University-based tuberculosis prevention practice.

RESULTS: Students of seventeen Universities across Italy participated in the study, and 58.2% of them received compulsory tuberculin skin test either at enrollment or while attending clinical practice. A total of 5,209 students filled the questionnaire. 37.7% were medicine and dentistry students (Group 1), 44.9% were nursing students (Group 2) and 17.4% were other health professions' students (Group 3). Age and gender had different distributions by groups, as well as knowledge and practice on tuberculin skin test. 84.4% of the study population (95% CI = 83.3-85.3) was aware of the existence of the tuberculin skin test, 74.4% (95% CI = 73.2-75.6) knew what is the first-level screening test for latent tuberculosis and only 22.5% (95% CI = 21.4-23.6) knew how to proceed after a positive tuberculin skin test result. Overall, knowledge on tuberculosis prevention was higher in Group 2 and lower Group 3, as compared to Group 1.

CONCLUSION: In Italy, the knowledge on tuberculosis screening among University students is generally good. To reduce some of the criticalities found among the different study courses, it would be appropriate to harmonize both the regulations on tuberculosis screening practices for admission to University courses, and the educational activities on the topic of tuberculosis, to be extended to all workers involved in health care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages13
JournalAnnali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunita
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Health care students
  • Mantoux tubercolin skin test
  • Screening
  • Tuberculosis surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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