Focused Topic: Deaf Adolescents in Puerto Rico, - Coggle Diagram
: Deaf Adolescents in Puerto Rico
5 of every 1000 children suffer from hearing loss in the US, 90% of these children are born to hearing parents.\(^3\)
These populations face health disparities due to their communication barriers and low literacy rates, including higher risk of obesity, depression, and interpersonal violence. Families of hearing impaired children live closer to the poverty line which delay diagnosis and treatment.
Lack of experienced hearing healthcare providers and limited access to existing providers.\(^3\)
Failure to communicate effectively can lead to mistakes and this contributes to deaf patients’ preference to avoid physicians and increase in lawsuits.
When physicians can sign, deaf patients report that they were more likely to follow recommended health
maintenance behaviors, visit their physicians regularly, and feel greater satisfaction with the clinical experience.
Problems with insurance approval, medical comorbidities, missed appointments, parental reluctance due to misinformation from providers are reasons further complicate treatment options.\(^3\)
1-3-6 Rule: Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) established that all infants should be screened no later than 1 month after birth, diagnosis of hearing loss occurs before 3 months of age and hearing loss treatment should occur before 6 months of age.\(^3\)
Experience with this Topic
There is little information if any regarding this topic. There is some data for other countries but the information in Puerto Rico is lacking.There is information regarding populations without disabilities.
In a research study that examined levels of empathy in deaf and hard of hearing pre-adolescents compared with hearing controls of the same age, children who were deaf and hard of hearing showed lower levels of empathy. This may affect the normal development of enduring relationships.\(^5\)
Solutions for the Lack of Information
With this research project we will be able to provide valuable information on the gap in medical accessibility and health disparities among deaf community in Puerto Rico.
Solutions for Health Disparities in Public Health Policies
Mandatory courses of sign language for healthcare providers and first responders. With a requisite of continual education.
Hospitals to have an on-call physician with experience in sign language.
Mandatory courses for healthcare providers and first responders to identify a person with disadvantages more effectively and adjust their approach if needed
Develop support groups for deaf and hard-of-hearing populations with psychological assistance before and after natural disasters.
Development of technological methods to provide quick access of relevant information to deaf communities.\(^9\)
The paucity of resources and well-trained help available during a disaster for the deaf and hear-of-hearing (HH) community could increase the level of mental and emotional stress among that community previous, during, and after the event.\(^8\)
Abstinence of the general public due to social stigma, or simply a lack of information and available resources.\(^2\)
Causes of Controversy:
The deaf and hard-of-hearing community experience more difficulties accessing information before and after natural disasters, as documented by Takayama following the 2011 earthquakes.\(^1\)
The concerns of deaf population are not prioritized. No one can understand them and effectively connect with them during these difficult times.\(^1\)\(^0\)
: Physiological Effects of Natural Disasters on the Deaf/HH Population in PR