Pilot Testing the Deaf Heart Health Intervention

  • Jones, Elaine G (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall aims of the proposed pilot study are to: 1) test the feasibility of conducting the Deaf Heart Health Intervention as planned and 2) test the effectiveness of the Deaf Heart Health Intervention in decreasing modifiable risk factors for CVD among Deaf adults. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Numerous intervention projects have targeted modifiable CVD risk factors in varied ethnic populations and age groups. The Health People 2010 document objectives include eliminating marked health disparities between people with disabilities and people without disabilities. However, after an extensive literature review, we are unaware of any CVD intervention projects that have specifically targeted Deaf communities. The term "Deaf" refers to a sociocultural subgroup of more than two million Americans who were significantly hearing-impaired at an early age, communicate primarily through sign language in adulthood, and participate in Deaf cultural communities. The shared language, American Sign Language (ASL), and the culture of Deaf community members both unite them as a unique linguistic minority and separate them from the hearing world. For Deaf community members, communication barriers frequently exist in combination with low income, limited education, secondary disabilities, and membership in ethnic minority groups-factors associated with poorer health status and greater risk for CVD than for other cohorts. The Deaf Heart Health Intervention (DHHI) is designed using social cognitive health behavior change principles integrated with teaching-learning strategies appropriate for the Deaf cultural context. The DHHI is conducted by trained, Deaf health teachers for two hours/week for eight weeks, for a total of 16 hours of classroom time. The proposed pilot test of the DHHI is a quasi-experimental, two group, repeated measures design. We propose that accommodating the physical and sociocultural dimensions of Deafness in primary prevention programs will result in improved health status for Deaf adults. Our vision is that multi-ethnic Deaf communities across the nation will have the capacity for sustained heart health promotion/risk reduction programs.
Effective start/end date5/1/038/31/05


  • National Institutes of Health: $143,775.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)


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