College Health Survey (2004-2009)

General Information

NCDHR researchers developed the College Health Behavior Survey in order to identify important health risk behaviors of deaf and hard-of-hearing college students. In 2005, NCDHR administered the survey to freshmen students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). This written English survey was adapted from items from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). It helped to establish whether a written English survey was an effective method of including deaf and hard of hearing young adults in public health surveillance.

NCDHR adapted commonly used English language health survey items for use with deaf and hard-of-hearing college students. NCDHR added items related to hearing level and deafness. College Health Behavior Survey topics included demographics; safety and violence; tobacco, alcohol and other drugs; sexual behavior; weight, nutrition and physical activity; mental health; health services use; communication with health providers; oral health; and hearing loss and communication.

After items were selected, NCDHR researchers and NTID language consultants adapted the language and reading level of survey items in order to maximize clarity and readability for deaf and hard-of-hearing populations. NCDHR evaluated the survey with deaf and hard-of-hearing college students during in-depth cognitive testing and incorporated findings from cognitive testing into the final survey.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students from NTID were surveyed during NTID’s freshman orientation program, which takes place during the two weeks prior to the start of the academic year. RIT freshmen were surveyed during the early weeks of the fall academic quarter. A total of 200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students and a comparison group of 578 hearing students took the survey.

NCDHR found that deaf and hard-of-hearing college freshmen reported different health behaviors compared with hearing college freshmen. Deaf and hard-of-hearing college freshmen were also more likely to choose the “don’t know” response option, and were more likely to exhibit logic problems in their response patterns compared with hearing college freshmen. Future research should evaluate health measures and examine health risk behaviors of deaf and hard-of-hearing college students.

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Presentations

Lowenstein L, O'Hearn A, David T, Ossip D, Samar V. Deaf/Hard-of-hearing and hearing student's plans to lose, maintain, or do nothing about their weight (Abstract). Presented at the APHA 140th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA; 2012 Oct. 29.

Lowenstein L, O'Hearn A, David T, Ossip D, Samar V. Differences in weight perception between deaf and hearing college students (Abstract)>. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, New Orleans, LA; 2012.

David T, Tuttle J, Barnett S, Kitzman H. Potential barriers to cardiovascular disease risk assessment among deaf young adults (Abstract). Presented at the American Heart Association, Epidemiology and Prevention 2012 Scientific Sessions, San Diego, CA; 2012.

Samar V, Barnett S, Finigan E. Deaf adults from low childhood socioeconomic backgrounds display intercorrelations among language skills and body composition suggesting early epigenetic dysregulation of neurocognitive development. Presented at the Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology Congress, Basel, Switzerland; 2011 Sept. 7-9.

David T. A comparison of deaf/hard of hearing and hearing young adults' responses to a health risk behavior survey (Slides). Doctoral dissertation defense presented to the School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; 2010 Apr 16.

David T. A comparison of deaf/hard of hearing and hearing young adults' responses to a health risk behavior survey (Slides). Dissertation proposal presented to the School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; 2009 Feb. 17.

O’Hearn A, Samar V, Barnett S. Odds of self-reported suicide behaviors in deaf and hard of hearing college entering adults (Abstract). Presented at the 137th Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, PA; 2009 Nov 7-11.

O'Hearn A, Samar V. Deaf people and suicide: the peculiar relationship of gender, reading & suicide risk (Poster). Presented at the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, San Antonio, TX; 2009 Apr 16.

David T. A secondary analysis of deaf and hearing young adults’ responses to a health risk behavior survey (Slides). Presented at PhD Research Day, University of Rochester School of Nursing, Rochester NY; 2008 May 6.

Finigan E, Samar VJ, Sutter E, Klein J, Barnett S, Pollard RQ, O'Hearn A, Lalley P, Steider A, Starr M, Havens C, Dean R, David T, Testa-Wojteczko B, Fogg TT. Deaf older adolescents: Health care access disparities in an understudied population (Abstract). Presented at the 135th Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Public Health Association, 2007 Nov 3-7, Washington, DC. To see a Poster of this presentation, click here.

O’Hearn A, Steider A, Samar V, David T, Testa-Wojteczko B. Deaf and hard-of-hearing young adult perception of body weight: gender, ethnicity and media influence (Poster). Deaf Health Poster Session, NTID Brown Bag Research Series, Rochester NY; 2007 Feb. 19.

Samar V, Pollard RQ, O’Hearn A, Lalley P, Sutter E, Barnett S, Klein JD, Finigan E, Steider A, Starr M, Havens C, Dean R, David T, Testa-Wojteczko B, Fogg TT. Deaf young adults’ self-reported suicide attempt and suicide ideation rates: Role of reading skill and gender (Poster). Presented at the Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities, 2007 Mar, Honolulu, HI. Also presented at Deaf Health Poster Session, NTID Brown Bag Research Series, Rochester NY; 2007 Feb. 19.

Sutter E, Finigan E, Samar V, Berent G, Barnett S, Pollard RQ, Havens C, Klein JD, and the NCDHR Research Committee. Development of a linguistically accessible health survey for deaf and hard-of-hearing young adults (Poster). Deaf Health Poster Session, NTID Brown Bag Research Series, Rochester NY; 2007 Feb. 19.

Finigan E, Sutter E, Samar VJ, Barnett S, Pollard RQ, Havens C, Klein J. Measuring health risk behaviors of deaf and hard-of-hearing students; considering language difference (AbstractB. Presented at the 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, 2006 Nov 4-8, Boston, MA.

Sutter E, Finigan E, Samar VJ, Berent G, Barnett S, Pollard RQ, Havens C, Klein J, and the Research Committee of the National Center for Deaf Health Research. Development of a linguistically accessible health survey for deaf students (Abstract). Presented at the 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA; 2006 Nov 4-8.To see the Slides from this presentation, click here.

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Links

BRFSS: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: www.cdc.gov/brfss

YRBS: Youth Risk Behavior Survey: www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs

NCHA: National College Health Assessment: www.achancha.org

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Research Opportunities

Deaf Health Survey 2013

DHS 2013 thermometer

To learn more about the Deaf Health Survey 2013, click here.

To sign up for this survey, email Kelly Matthews.