American Sign Language and Deaf culture competency of osteopathic medical students

Jessica Diane Lapinski, Caitlin Colonna, Patricia Sexton, Mariah Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The study examined the effectiveness of a workshop on Deaf culture and basic medical American Sign Language for increasing osteopathic student physicians’ confidence and knowledge when interacting with ASL-using patients. Students completed a pretest in which they provided basic demographic information, rated their confidence levels, took a video quiz on basic medical signs, and experienced a practical standardized encounter with a Deaf patient. They then attended a 4-hour workshop and, 2 weeks later, completed a posttest. Thirty-three students completed the pretest; 29 attended the workshop; 26 completed the posttest. Video quiz scores increased significantly from pretest to posttest, as did scores for the standardized patient encounter after completion of the workshop. Students also reported increased levels of confidence in interactions with the Deaf community. The results suggest that a single workshop was effective in increasing both confidence and shortterm knowledge in interactions with Deaf patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Annals of the Deaf
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • American Sign Language
  • Cultural competence
  • Medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing


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