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Deaf patients in the medical imaging department - A qualitative study

Davies, M. C.; Channon, Brian T.; Davies, Caroline


M. C. Davies

Brian T. Channon

Caroline Davies


Background: Approximately one in seven of the British population has some degree of hearing loss. Studies have found that the deaf or hard of hearing often find communication in a health setting unsatisfactory. The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of deaf people in the diagnostic imaging department. Methods: A semi-structured interview technique was used with small numbers of radiographers and deaf patients. Transcripts were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: Deaf patients experienced difficulties at reception and with the system for calling patients. Examinations that required the patient to follow verbal instructions caused communication problems for both patients and radiographers. A high proportion of the deaf subjects had had an MRI scan, and nearly all of them found this a distressing experience. Radiographers had some awareness of communicating with the deaf, although nearly all significantly overestimated the percentage of words understood by patients who lip-read. Conclusion: Patients experienced problems with communication. In some cases these were such that informed consent may not have been given. Recommendations made for future practice include deaf awareness training for all staff, the installation of equipment that gives visual signals for breath holding, and extra time allowed for explanation to deaf patients before imaging procedures. © Greenwich Medical Media Ltd. 2004.


Channon, B. T., Davies, M. C., & Davies, C. (2004). Deaf patients in the medical imaging department - A qualitative study. Journal of Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging, 5(2), 99-106.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2004
Journal Journal of Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging
Print ISSN 1460-4728
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 99-106
Keywords deaf, radiography, communication, informed consent
Public URL
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