Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Poorna Kushalnagar

Second Advisor

Abbi Simons


For some deaf people who experience communication and/or language barriers, health literacy is impacted. This capstone project focuses on interactive health literacy, which refers to an individual’s ability to extract health information through communication (e.g. Internet; family/friends; doctors) and apply this information towards self-care (Nutbeam, 2000). Research suggests that gender role influences a person’s interactive health literacy in the general population, but this effect has not been investigated in the deaf and hard-of-hearing population. This capstone project aims to examine whether gender disparity exists for interactive health literacy in a pilot sample of deaf and hard of hearing college students. After the capstone study is completed, this will be converted to a peer-reviewed manuscript for submission to a peer reviewed journal. The sample pool for this study includes 76 college-aged students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Following IRB approval, a demographic survey, a question related to confidence in medical forms (measures functional health literacy indirectly) and a three-question survey relating to interactive health literacy (health information seeking behavior and perceived effort/frustration associated with finding health information) were administered. Multiple binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between gender (predictor) and frustration, effort, and understanding information (three interactive health literacy outcomes), after controlling for sociodemographic and functional health literacy variables.



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