Deaf adults at higher risk for severe illness: COVID-19 information preference and perceived health consequences

Summary (Abstract)

Objectives: This study explores deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) individuals’ preferred sources of information for COVID-19 and their perceptions of developing severe illness from COVID-19 given underlying medical conditions.

Methods: A national online bilingual American Sign Language/English survey was conducted from April 17 to May 1, 2020. Weighted sample of 474 DHH adults living in the United States. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine independent associations of sociodemographic variables and health indicators with perceived COVID-19 health consequences. Results About 44% of the medical condition sample used the Internet (English-based text) first for COVID-19 information, followed by TV (24%). Only 1% selected healthcare provider as the go-to source; the remainder got information from family or friends. Perceived health consequences increased with age (adjusted OR=1.04; CI 95%=1.02, 1.06). At-risk respondents who self-identified as persons of color were nearly three times more likely to believe that their health will be severely affected by COVID-19 compared to respondents who self-identified as white (adjusted OR =2.94; CI 95%=1.20, 7.18).

Conclusions: Perception of COVID-19 health consequences vary among DHH adults at higher risk for severe illness. Practice Implications Information delivery methods must be flexible and comprehensive to meet the diverse community’s needs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding Source This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health [3R01DC014463-05S4 to P. Kushalnagar]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Video Transcript


Moreland, C. J., Paludnevicine, R., Park, J. H., McKee, M. M. & Kushalnagar. P.

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