Survey Evaluation of Pharmacy Practice Involving Deaf Patients

J Pharm Pract. 2016 Oct;29(5):461-6. doi: 10.1177/0897190014568379. Epub 2015 Jan 22.


Introduction: For a patient who is deaf, providing patient care can be more difficult due to communication barriers. This study was conducted in order to better understand pharmacists' current means of communicating with deaf patients as well as investigating pharmacists' knowledge of their legal responsibility to these patients.

Methods: Surveys were used to gather information from pharmacists and were distributed in areas with a large population of deaf patients.

Results: Of the 73 pharmacists who completed surveys, 50 (68.5%) of them interact with at least 1 to 5 deaf patients monthly. Pharmacists responded that accessibility of interpreters is the most significant barrier to communication and providing written material is the method most used to communicate with deaf patients. None of the 73 pharmacists who completed the survey felt that they have a legal obligation to provide and pay for an interpreter.

Conclusion: When interacting with a deaf patient, pharmacists may experience communication barriers. Pharmacists should strive to appropriately communicate with the deaf as well as familiarize themselves with legal obligations to this patient population.

Keywords: communication; deaf.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments*
  • Pharmaceutical Services* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires