Health information sources that deafened adults with high perceived risk of cancer trust and use: A pilot study



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Goals of "Healthy People 2020" aim at increasing information about health information-seeking behaviors (HISB) and decreasing cancer morbidity and mortality rates. Few studies identify which health information (HI) people trust and use. Additionally, studies are being directed toward HISB of individuals with varying perceived cancer risk (PCR) to better tailor HI. However, most HISB pertaining to PCR focuses on mainstream populations and not medically underserved populations such as the deafened. The purpose of this study was to examine: (a) HISB of deafened adults with high PCR, (b) which HI sources deafened adults with high PCR trust, and (c) whether there is a relationship between high PCR and HISB among deafened adults. Data from the English version of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 4 Cycle 3 were analyzed. Frequencies were calculated from HINTS 4 Cycle 3 survey questions. Correlation analysis was used to examine relationships between high PCR status and the various trusted HI sources. A significant correlation coefficient (Pearson’s r) with p set at .05. Of the 229 self-identifying as being deafened or having xi serious difficulty hearing, 46 noted having high PCR. Additionally, over 95% of deafened individuals with high PCR noted they spoke English. In their latest HI search, participants reported that they first accessed HI from the internet (28.3%) followed by healthcare professionals (21.7%). Overall, deafened individuals with high PCR reported their most trusted HI sources were doctors with a cumulative percent of 97.8%. Pearson’s r indicated no significant relationship between PCR status of deafened individuals and degree of trust in HI sources with p set at .05. This study adds to the body of knowledge about the HISB of deafened adults with high PCR and indicates that doctors should be culturally sensitive when communicating with the deafened population. Health educators and health communication specialists should aim to create accessible HI sources for all deafened individuals, including those with high PCR. Additionally, health education and health communication programs should partner with internet cancer HI sources to provide accessible cancer HI for deafened individuals, including those with high PCR. Future research should include a larger sample.



Deafened, Deaf, Hard-of-hearing, Health information-seeking behaviors, Health information, Cancer health information, Cancer, Perceived cancer risk