Hearing impairment can be obstacle in assessing pain

08/13/2014 | Pain Medicine News

Hearing-impaired patients should have American Sign Language interpreters with them during visits with health care providers to help convey their experience of pain severity, registered nurse Sandra LeFort said at the Canadian Pain Society's annual meeting. The ASL vocabulary lacks signs for common pain descriptors, and LeFort said her research found miscommunication can be common for terms such as "dull" or "stabbing." "The ASL interpreters have to interpret for all kinds of health problems. But they said that pain was the most difficult," LeFort said.

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