Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

BS

Department

Mathematics and Statistics

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Chrystal Lewis

Abstract

Health literacy is a constantly evolving concept that requires similarly evolving adaptation and specialization of health care to increase the quality of life for all. One demographic that is largely ignored when it comes to research in health literacy, specifically in the traditional South, is the d/Deaf and hard of hearing/Hard of Hearing (DHH) population. The purpose of this study is to determine the general health literacy of this specific demographic and compare results with that of other demographics to highlight the anticipated deficit in health literacy levels and emphasize the critical need for specialized care. This prospective, non-experimental, descriptive study utilized online survey software to gather anonymous general health literacy levels of those that self-identify as DHH. This survey consisted of the Short Assessment of Health Literacy 􀂱 English (SAHL-E) to determine health literacy level and follow-up questions based on trauma in healthcare. Out of 10 participants, all scored greater than or equal to 14, demonstrating good health literacy. Eight of these participants provided thoughtful responses to the questions about trauma and healthcare. Upon analysis, the data shows that regardless of socio-economic status, those who are DHH are in need of accommodations that allow for consistent, high quality health care. This data contributes not only to the realization of reality for the DHH in health care settings, but also the nationwide goal of increasing general health literacy and thus the quality of life.

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