Online Program

Disease Investigation Specialist Workforce Development: A Review of the Literature

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Shamika Jones, BSPH, CHES, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Stacy W. Smallwood, PhD, MPH, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
William A. Mase, DrPH, MPH, MA, Health Policy and Management, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Disease investigation specialists (DIS), known by multiple names in the literature, perform many duties related to HIV prevention and care, including case management, partner notification, and HIV testing. DIS workers are instrumental in accomplishing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals of increasing access to care and improving HIV-related health outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review is to identify resources used by the DIS workforce in improving health outcomes and quality of life for those affected by HIV/AIDS.


Galileo was used to access Medline, PubMed, PsycInfo, and ProQuest. Search criteria included: case managers, disease intervention specialist, and disease investigation specialist. References from the initial articles were included in this search. Articles that were not full-text, were not peer-reviewed, or did not include the search term HIV were excluded.


The systematic review yielded 9 articles that met the search criteria.  The search yielded several articles pertaining to technological resources for DIS workforce. Repeating themes in the literature revealed that electronic clinical data (ECD) and health information technology (HIT) are relevant resources for DIS workers. There is a demonstrated need for ECD training as well as disclosure decision training.


Major themes included increasing utilization of electronic resources, lack of uniformity in training among various health networks and regions, and disclosure issues related to HIV status. Training needs could be addressed through standardized ECD/HIT and disclosure training curricula. Future research should investigate additional needs for training of the DIS workforce.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe key technological and training resources available to disease investigation specialists. Identify gaps in workforce development resources for disease investigation specialists.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Workforce Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate assistant, this project is my primary responsibility. I have been involved in all aspects of the research. This project is important to me because I am a dedicated student that has a desire to improve community health efforts through health policy initiatives.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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