Health inequity for shared decision making among deaf males with family history of cancer or of screening-eligible age for PSA tests

Summary (Abstract)

Some deaf men who use American Sign Language (ASL) experience barriers in patient-physician communication which may leave them at disparity for shared decision making compared to hearing men. Transparent communication accessibility is needed between deaf male ASL users and their physicians to maximize the benefit to risk ratio of using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a screening tool for early detection. The objective is to compare shared decision-making outcomes between deaf and hearing males who are (1) age-eligible for PSA screening and (2) younger than 45 years old with a family history of cancer. An accessible health survey including questions about PSA test, PCC, modes of communication, and cancer history was administered in ASL to a nationwide sample of deaf adults from February 2017 to April 2018. Two subsamples were created: (1) 45- to 69-year-old men who were age-eligible for PSA testing and (2) 18- to 44-year-old men with a family history of cancer. Age-eligible and younger deaf men with a family history of cancer are at disparity for shared decision making compared to their hearing peers. Regardless of age and PSA testing status, deaf men felt significantly less engaged in shared decision making with their health care providers compared to hearing men. Participation in shared decision making requires not only accessible communication but also cultural competency in working with deaf patients. This is critical in the shared decision-making era in maximizing the benefit of prostate cancer screening in deaf male patient population.


Kushalnagar, P., Hill, C., Carrizales, S., & Sadler, G.

Publication Date



Journal of Cancer Education






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