Communication methods between physicians and Deaf patients: A scoping review

Andrea Xue Jin Yet, Vinuri Hapuhinne, Weilyn Eu, Elizabeth Yie-Chuen Chong, Uma Devi Palanisamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Deaf individuals often face communication challenges within healthcare settings. Given the importance of the role played by physicians in shaping patients’ health outcomes, it is paramount to explore Deaf patient-physician interactions. This research aims to explore (1) the existing communication support and (2) the factors influencing its usage in medical consultations with Deaf patients. Methods: A scoping review was carried out and adhered to the Preferred Reporting System for Meta-Analysis. A comprehensive search strategy of four databases; PubMed, Medline, CINAHL Plus and Scopus, from January 2011 to June 2021 was applied. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: Ten journal articles were included, and four themes were identified; patient experiences using communication methods, practitioners’ cultural competence in Deaf culture, inherent challenges of communication methods, and extrinsic factors. Professional interpreters are often regarded as the preferred modality of communication but writing and lip-reading were commonly used in healthcare settings, with video remote interpreting the least common. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals need to appreciate the heterogeneity of Deaf patients and their communication methods and adopt a more person-centred approach. Practice implications: This review provides up-to-date insight on Deaf patient-physician interactions and provisional recommendations for practice, education and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2841-2849
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Communication methods
  • Deaf
  • Patient-physician communication
  • Physicians
  • Scoping review

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