The Status of Electronic Health Literacy in people with Hearing Impairment: Content Analysis Approach

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Health Information Technology, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences

2 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Health Information Management Department, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective:  People with hearing impairments have not accessed well to health information sources compared to people with normal  hearing. The study aims to show the status of electronic health literacy in persons with hearing impairments.

Materials and Methods: The methodology was content analysis based on of Graneheim, B. Lundman’s pattern. Thirty-five participants with hearing impairments and 14 persons with normal hearing were selected. Sampling started with the purposive method and continued until data saturation. A total of 76 semi-structured interviews were made and analyzed using MaxQDA 

Results: The current state of electronic health literacy in people with hearing impairment was emerged as a theme, included three main categories contains poor electronic health literacy, underlying causes for poor electronic health literacy, and consequences of low electronic health literacy in persons with hearing impairment. Poor electronic health literacy consists of poor online health information seeking skills, poor understanding, and processing of online health information, and poor evaluation of online health information. Four main subcategories for  poor electronic health literacy were unequal access to conventional health information, incongruous health communication, lack of considering persons with hearing impairment in producing health education programs, and poor electronic health information sources for persons with hearing impairment. In addition, consequences of low electronic health literacy are composed of two subcategories, including reliance on available information sources and the promotion of misconceptions in the deaf community. 

Conclusion: Low theoretical and applied knowledge about various aspects of health might be the main factor in people with hearing impairments that influences their nature of deafness and obstacles to access health information sources Online content generation fitting the needs of those persons recommended creating access to health information for them. In addition to this, the development and enhancement of information searching skills, understanding and processing, evaluation, and use of online health information are essential.


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