Background: Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users face communication and language barriers that limit healthcare communication with their providers. Prior research has not examined preventive services with ASL-skilled clinicians.
Purpose: The goal of this study was to determine whether provider language concordance is associated with improved receipt of preventive services among deaf respondents.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 89 deaf respondents aged 50-75 years from the Deaf Health Survey (2008), a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey adapted for use with deaf ASL users. Association between the respondent's communication method with the provider (i.e., categorized as either concordant-doctor signs or discordant-other) and preventive services use was assessed using logistic regression adjusting for race, gender, income, health status, health insurance, and education. Analyses were conducted in 2010.
Results: Deaf respondents who reported having a concordant provider were more likely to report a greater number of preventive services (OR=3.42, 95% CI=1.31, 8.93, p=0.0122) when compared to deaf respondents who reported having a discordant provider even after adjusting for race, gender, income, health status, health insurance, and education. In unadjusted analyses, deaf respondents who reported having a concordant provider were more likely to receive an influenza vaccination in the past year (OR=4.55, p=0.016) when compared to respondents who had a discordant provider.
Conclusions: Language-concordant patient-provider communication is associated with higher appropriate use of preventive services by deaf ASL users.
Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.