Deaf patients avoid GP visits

Twenty-eight per cent of deaf patients avoid visiting their GP because they find it hard to communicate with them, say UK researchers.

It is estimated that there are close to nine million people in the UK who are hard of hearing.

But researchers from Kings College London have warned that there is a basic lack of deaf awareness and appropriate communication support offered by healthcare professionals.

They call for basic instruction in deaf awareness and appropriate communication tactics to be added to the medical curriculum and taught to medical students to ensure that access to essential health services is not restricted for these individuals.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

BMJ Online 2008

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