Sensitive care for the deaf: a cultural challenge

Creat Nurs. 2011;17(4):174-9. doi: 10.1891/1078-4535.17.4.174.


Of the more than 36 million American adults who have some degree of hearing loss (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2008), 500,000 are acculturated into the culturally Deaf community who share behavioral norms, values, customs, educational institutions, and organizations. This article discusses the Deaf community, their culturally based health care needs, and health care providers' (HCPs) lack of understanding and recognition of Deafness as a distinct culture, which individually or cumulatively result in barriers to culturally sensitive care that can lead to disparities in care. It suggests transcultural methods HCPs can use to narrow the cultural divide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Deafness / nursing*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Sign Language
  • United States