Best Practice Patient Teaching Strategies to Promote Health Literacy When Working with Individuals with Deafness
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The Deaf Culture encompasses a large group of hearing impaired individuals who associate themselves with the use of American Sign Language. This population is at risk for health complications and increased hospital admissions due to low health literacy. Limited existing literature with a focus on this population and recommendations to address risk factors poses a significant health disparity. Improving patient education using a variety of teaching methods such as the teach-back method, alternative visual formats, and appropriate use of interpreters may be suitable for this population. Assessing the effectiveness of any method needs to be performed on an individual basis to fully address the needs of this at risk population. This paper reviews the current recommended guidelines for providing patient teaching to individuals with deafness. Adapting effective teaching strategies to the Deaf Culture are presented and recommended for improving patients’ health care access.