Barriers to health care for people with hearing loss: a review of the literature

J N Y State Nurses Assoc. 2009 Spring-Summer;40(1):4-10.


Deaf individuals face many barriers when trying to access health care. The reasons why barriers are encountered, difficulties met as a result of the barriers, and ways that health professionals and others working with deaf people can overcome obstacles are included in this review of the literature. A brief summary of Deaf culture and history gives background information to better understand the problems. Misunderstandings by d/Deaf patients and hearing health professionals are addressed, as well as issues related to medical interpreters. This paper aims to make health professionals more aware of the needs and cultural differences that must be considered when providing care to the d/Deaf population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Facial Expression
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Healthcare Disparities / organization & administration*
  • Hearing Loss* / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss* / psychology
  • Hearing Loss* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lipreading
  • Multilingualism
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments* / psychology
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments* / rehabilitation
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prejudice
  • Professional Role
  • Sign Language
  • United States / epidemiology