Deaf adults and health care

Giving voice to their stories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Deaf adults often experience significant healthcare disparities. This article gives voice to nine Deaf adults as they describe their lifelong experiences with health care. Data sources: Qualitative, hermeneutic interviews with nine culturally Deaf adults. Each participant was interviewed three times, aided by a certified American Sign Language interpreter. Conclusions: Participants recalled childhood memories of painful and frightening procedures to investigate the deafness, which frequently overshadowed emotional needs. Communication barriers between Deaf patients and providers left the patients not understanding the diagnosis or treatment, medication use, or side effects. Descriptions included distressing or embarrassing interactions, and cries for help gone unanswered. Consequently, minimal health promotion occurs and most participants rely on the emergency department for health care. Implications for practice: Deaf patients should be screened for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at every healthcare encounter. Assessments should include social support and social resources. Specific questions about pain, sleep, appetite changes, suicidal thoughts, and interest may help to identify manifestations of illness and health. Certified interpreters may be useful during the healthcare encounter, but ultimately the Deaf patient is best positioned to identify the most comfortable or meaningful means of communication between patient and healthcare provider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Delivery of Health Care
Healthcare Disparities
Sign Language
Communication Barriers
Information Storage and Retrieval
Sex Offenses
Deafness
Appetite
Health Promotion
Social Support
Health Personnel
Hospital Emergency Service
Sleep
Communication
Interviews
Pain
Health
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Health care
  • Health disparities
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Deaf adults and health care : Giving voice to their stories. / Sheppard, Kate Goggin.

In: Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Vol. 26, No. 9, 2014, p. 504-510.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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