Deaf Perceptions Project

General Information

The goal of the Deaf Cardiovascular Health Perceptions Study is to contribute knowledge on the perceptions of cardiovascular health among the deaf linguistic minority in areas such as Rochester, NY, Denver, CO, and Raleigh, NC. The deaf linguistic minority group is considered medically underserved since it appears to struggle with language barriers. The loss of hearing is considered a cultural identity rather than a disability among this population. This deaf group is highly represented in the smaller deaf community that primarily communicates in American Sign Language (ASL) and shares the values of Deaf Culture.

Due to language barriers and society's heavy reliance on an auditory-oriented method of information dispersal, this group has fewer opportunities to acquire knowledge of cardiovascular health compared to hearing native English speakers. It is unclear as to whether there are further discrepancies in their cardiovascular health perceptions among the deaf minority groups who share other racial and ethnic identities compared to those hearing individuals sharing similar racial and ethnic identities.

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Status of the Project

Focus groups in North Carolina and Colorado have been completed. RPRC:NCDHR has completed the translation and transcription phase as well as the analysis of the data from North Carolina and Colorado.

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McKee M, Schlehofer D, Cuculick J, Starr M, Smith S, Chin N. (2011). Perceptions of cardiovascular health in an underserved community of deaf adults using American Sign Language (Abstract). Disability and Health Journal; 4(3):192-7.

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McKee M, Cuculick J, Schlehofer D, Smith S, Starr M, and Chin N. Perceptions of Cardiovascular Health in an Underserved Community: A Qualitative Study of Deaf Adults through CHIRTN (Abstract). Presented at the APHA 138th Annual Meeting, Denver, CO; 2010 November 7.

McKee M. Deaf cardiovascular health perceptions (Slides). Presented at the Health Literacy Annual Research Conference, Washington, DC; 2009 Oct 12-13.

McKee M. Deaf perceptions of cardiovascular health (Slides). Presented at the American Heart Association 2009 Joint Conference: 49th Cardiovascular Disease, Epidemiology, and Prevention and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, NHLBI Trainee Session, 2009 Mar 11, Palm Harbor, FL.

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Research Opportunities

Focus Group Meetings


Seeking Deaf persons age 21-40 interested in participating in a one-time two hour focus group meeting in Rochester!

Focus Group Meeting Flyer

The interviews are limited to Deaf people who are now living in the Rochester (NY) area. The focus group will be conducted in ASL. We need your feedback on developing Deaf Weight Wise (DWW) 2.0. We will be asking about healthy eating and physical activity. The purpose of the group is to continue to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate healthy lifestyle research programs for Deaf people. Each participant will receive $30 dollars cash.

Interested? Contact

Jackie Pransky

(585) 568 6534 VP