Meeting Deaf patients' communication needs
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Dickson, M. & Magowan, R. (2014) Meeting Deaf patients' communication needs, Nursing Times, vol. 110, , pp. Dec-15,
Effective communication between nurses and patients is a vital part of safe and effective nursing care. However, few health professionals receive training in how to communicate with Deaf people; as a result, attempts to communicate with Deaf patients is often inappropriate and undertaken without knowledge or understanding of their communication needs. This article examines the literature on ways in which Deaf patients experience communicating with, and receive care from, nurses.This study examines prosodic disambiguation inchild-directed (CD) speech. Twenty-four mothersaddressed syntactically ambiguous sentences totheir 2;0 to 3;8 year old child and to an adult confederate.Twenty-four non-mothers addressed animaginary toddler and an imaginary adult. Wefound that only mothers increased pitch and producedthe CD-typical pitch excursions when addressingtheir children. In contrast, non-mothers,but not mothers, used prosodic disambiguation inCD speech, which was corroborated by a forcedchoice test in which 48 listeners judged the intendedmeaning of each sentence. The results suggestthat if speakers express genuine positive affect,they tend to emphasise affective prosody at the expenseof linguistic prosody. In the case of CDspeech, this communication strategy may be moreeffective as it serves to elicit the child's attention.