Physicians' attitudes toward deaf persons and the communication methods used with their deaf patients Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fb494c275

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  • The central purpose of this study was to examine physicians' attitudes and communication methods which they used with deaf patients. This study was conducted with 100 physicians practicing medicine in Linn and Marion counties in Oregon. Attitude was measured by the Attitude Toward Deaf Persons Scale and was compared to demographic information, physician response to statements about communication with the deaf, and the actual methods of communication physicians used with their deaf patients. Analysis of variance, chi square, and a standard t test were utilized for statistical analysis of relationships between attitude and each variable. Selected conclusions of the study were: 1.) Physicians were found to have generally positive attitudes toward the deaf as scored by the ATD scale. 2.) Physicians who attended a greater number of medical continuing education meetings or who had seen a greater number of deaf patients were found to have a higher incidence of preparedness to communicate with deaf patients. 3.) The communication modes physicians used most often with deaf patients were lipreading, writing notes and gestures or body language. Only 23 percent of the physicians had used a professional interpreter. 4.) A large disparity existed between the physicians' judgement of effectiveness of interpreting and the actual usage of any form of interpreting. Over 90% of the physicians judged interpreting to be an effective communication mode, yet actual usage varied from 12-58%. Selected recommendations were: 1.) The educational community has a responsibility to provide health care professionals with accurate information about the communication problems of the deaf. Specific topics for inservices were suggested. 2.) Physicians need inservice training pertaining to appropriate communication modes to use with deaf patients and the availability of interpreter services in their local medical communities. 3.) Medical school training should include information on the communication problems encountered with the deaf. Otolaryngology and emergency room residency programs were targeted for increased training pertaining to deafness. 4.) Deaf students' health vocabulary and information base needs to be examined. School curriculum may need to be developed which encourages deaf persons to take a more informed and active role in their own health care.
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