Deaf women's experiences and satisfaction with prenatal care: a comparative study.

University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Family medicine (Impact Factor: 0.85). 38(10):712-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The quality of communication between physician and patient is a major contributor to patient satisfaction and treatment adherence. Deaf patients who use American Sign Language experience significant communication barriers in most medical settings. This study investigated factors impacting deaf patients' satisfaction with prenatal care and prenatal care disparities between deaf and hearing women.
Questionnaires modified from Omar and Schiffman's prenatal satisfaction measure were administered to 23 deaf and 32 hearing women.
Deaf women were less satisfied than hearing women with physician communication and less satisfied with overall care. Deaf women's expectations about provision of interpreter services being met or exceeded was significantly associated with overall satisfaction. Hearing women had more prenatal care appointments and reported receiving more information from their doctors.
Maximizing communication effectiveness with deaf patients results in better prenatal care and improved patient satisfaction. Good communication includes conveying concern and making efforts to ensure that whatever communication methods used are effective.

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    ABSTRACT: Background:Deaf mothers who use American Sign Language (ASL) consider themselves a linguistic minority group, with specific cultural practices. Rarely has this group been engaged in infant-feeding research.Objectives:To understand how Deaf mothers who use ASL learn about infant feeding and to identify their breastfeeding challenges.Methods:Using a community-based participatory research approach, we conducted 4 focus groups with Deaf mothers who had at least 1 child 0-5 years old. A script was developed using a social ecological model (SEM) to capture multiple levels of influence. All groups were conducted in ASL, filmed, and transcribed into English. Deaf and hearing researchers analyzed data by coding themes within each SEM level.Results:Fifteen mothers participated. All had initiated breastfeeding with their most recent child. Breastfeeding duration for 8 of the mothers was 3 weeks to 12 months. Seven of the mothers were still breastfeeding, the longest for 19 months. Those mothers who breastfed longer described a supportive social environment and the ability to surmount challenges. Participants described characteristics of Deaf culture such as direct communication, sharing information, use of technology, language access through interpreters and ASL-using providers, and strong self-advocacy skills. Finally, mothers used the sign for "struggle" to describe their breastfeeding experience. The sign implies a sustained effort over time that leads to success.Conclusion:In a setting with a large population of Deaf women and ASL-using providers, we identified several aspects of Deaf culture and language that support breastfeeding mothers across institutional, community, and interpersonal levels of the SEM.
    Journal of Human Lactation 03/2013; 29(4). DOI:10.1177/0890334413476921 · 1.98 Impact Factor

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Apr 1, 2015