What is it about?

This systematic review is about the health outcomes of Deaf people who are sign language users. The review found that physical health and mental health outcomes in Deaf signing populations are poorer when compared with general populations. Additionally, there are factors that have been identified that influences health outcomes within the Deaf population such as LGBTQ+ status, educational level, employment and economic status, ethnicity, gender/sex, and language and communication.

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Why is it important?

This is the first systematic review of health and mental health outcomes that focused solely on evidence concerning Deaf adults who are sign language users as a distinct population rather than their incorporation within broader based health outcomes studies about deaf people in general. The review is international in scope and covers the health outcomes of Deaf adult sign language users across the globe. The weakness of many studies is clearly distinguishing the population of deaf sign language users within the samples, results in discarding some evidence that might have otherwise been helpful. This review has raised the need for better classification in routine health records, better data on different kinds of health inequality, and better coverage of health conditions to understand the Deaf experience. The findings will assist to further understand the health state of the Deaf signing population, and will support stakeholders in healthcare to address the inequalities.

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This page is a summary of: Health outcomes in Deaf signing populations: A systematic review, PLoS ONE, April 2024, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0298479.
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