Improving the Deaf community's access to prostate and testicular cancer information: a survey study

Folkins, Ann; Sadler, Georgia Robins; Ko, Celine; Branz, Patricia; Marsh, Shane; Bovee, Michael
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5, p63
Academic Journal
Background: Members of the Deaf community face communication barriers to accessing health information. To resolve these inequalities, educational programs must be designed in the appropriate format and language to meet their needs. Methods: Deaf men (102) were surveyed before, immediately following, and two months after viewing a 52-minute prostate and testicular cancer video in American Sign Language (ASL) with open text captioning and voice overlay. To provide the Deaf community with information equivalent to that available to the hearing community, the video addressed two cancer topics in depth. While the inclusion of two cancer topics lengthened the video, it was anticipated to reduce redundancy and encourage men of diverse ages to learn in a supportive, culturally aligned environment while also covering more topics within the partnership's limited budget. Survey data were analyzed to evaluate the video's impact on viewers' pre and post-intervention understanding of prostate and testicular cancers, as well as respondents' satisfaction with the video, exposure to and use of early detection services, and sources of cancer information. Results: From baseline to immediately post-intervention, participants' overall knowledge increased significantly, and this gain was maintained at the two-month follow-up. Men of diverse ages were successfully recruited, and this worked effectively as a support group. However, combining two complex cancer topics, in depth, in one video appeared to make it more difficult for participants to retain as many relevant details specific to each cancer. Participants related that there was so much information that they would need to watch the video more than once to understand each topic fully. When surveyed about their best sources of health information, participants ranked doctors first and showed a preference for active rather than passive methods of learning. Conclusion: After viewing this ASL video, participants showed significant increases in cancer understanding, and the effects remained significant at the two-month follow-up. However, to achieve maximum learning in a single training session, only one topic should be covered in future educational videos.


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