Start Date

9-3-2018 8:00 AM

Document Type

Poster

Description

There are approximately 1 million Deaf women in the U.S. who depend on American Sign Language (ASL) for communication. Although Deaf women become pregnant and enter motherhood at rates similar to hearing women, Deaf women attend fewer prenatal appointments, receive less information from their physicians, are less satisfied with physician concern and quality of communication, and are less satisfied with their prenatal care. These barriers persist after childbirth, leaving Deaf mothers with little professional support for struggles with postnatal healthcare, breastfeeding, and childcare.

Combined with pre-existing mental health disparities observed among members of the Deaf community, such barriers leave Deaf women especially vulnerable to development or exacerbation of depression during the perinatal period (i.e., during pregnancy or within one year postpartum). Expert groups recommend depression screening as a standard of perinatal care - the first critical step to direct women to treatment. Yet, available screening tools are not accessible to Deaf women due to documented low levels of English literacy and health literacy. It is, therefore, critical to develop and validate tools to screen for depression among Deaf perinatal women so they may access the same standard of care as other perinatal women.

To address these barriers, our team is conducting a one-year, community-engaged pilot study to develop and perform preliminary psychometric analyses on an ASL translation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). During the poster session, we will outline our unique community-engaged research methods, as well as exhibit the first draft of the ASL EPDS.

Keywords

deaf community, deaf women, perinatal depression, mental health, ASL, American sign language

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Mar 9th, 8:00 AM

Creating the Capacity to Screen Deaf Women for Perinatal Depression

There are approximately 1 million Deaf women in the U.S. who depend on American Sign Language (ASL) for communication. Although Deaf women become pregnant and enter motherhood at rates similar to hearing women, Deaf women attend fewer prenatal appointments, receive less information from their physicians, are less satisfied with physician concern and quality of communication, and are less satisfied with their prenatal care. These barriers persist after childbirth, leaving Deaf mothers with little professional support for struggles with postnatal healthcare, breastfeeding, and childcare.

Combined with pre-existing mental health disparities observed among members of the Deaf community, such barriers leave Deaf women especially vulnerable to development or exacerbation of depression during the perinatal period (i.e., during pregnancy or within one year postpartum). Expert groups recommend depression screening as a standard of perinatal care - the first critical step to direct women to treatment. Yet, available screening tools are not accessible to Deaf women due to documented low levels of English literacy and health literacy. It is, therefore, critical to develop and validate tools to screen for depression among Deaf perinatal women so they may access the same standard of care as other perinatal women.

To address these barriers, our team is conducting a one-year, community-engaged pilot study to develop and perform preliminary psychometric analyses on an ASL translation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). During the poster session, we will outline our unique community-engaged research methods, as well as exhibit the first draft of the ASL EPDS.

 

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