An examination of health information management by the Deaf
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Little is known about how Deaf people perceive, access, and utilize interpersonal and media sources for health information. In light of the scarcity of research on health information management among this group, a two-phase study was conducted that included eight focus groups (N=39) and survey data (N=366) with Deaf participants to determine the range of health information sources utilized by the Deaf community and how Deaf people evaluate the utility of these sources within and across specific health contexts (sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex, depression, alcohol and drugs, flu and flu shot). Finally, this study compares Deaf participants’ assessment and utilization of health information sources against those of a hearing sample (N=315). Findings reveal the Deaf community utilize a variety of health information sources and perceive these sources as differentially effective depending on the health context. In addition, findings reveal how the Deaf community perceives health sources differently from their hearing counterparts. These findings are of consequence to health education efforts targeting Deaf people, as the sources through which Deaf people access such information differs from those of the general population.