Aug 1, 1977

Communicating with hearing-impaired patients

The Western Journal of Medicine
W S Brown

Abstract

ONE ASPECT OF ESTABLISHING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS HAS NOT RECEIVED ADEQUATE ATTENTION: the special needs and challenges presented by patients with impaired hearing. In this article the term "hearing impaired" is generic and is applied to both those persons who are commonly labeled "deaf" and those labeled "hard of hearing" as a result of a bilateral hearing loss. The general skills, both verbal and nonverbal, that a physician must have in order to communicate successfully with a hearing-impaired patient are in essence the same as those required for a hearing patient. Where the divergence occurs is not in the basic skills (empathy, probing and the like) but rather in the means of applying them. Communicating with a hearing-impaired patient makes the use of some combination of the following necessary: speech, hearing, speechreading (lipreading), writing, visual aids, visual language systems and the assistance of an interpreter.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Dysacusis
Exploration With a Probe
Hearing Loss, Bilateral

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