Grantee: Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D.

Poorna Kushalnagar

Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D.

Health Disparity Research Scientist and Public Health Advocate for the Deaf Community
HCIRB Grantee
  • Gallaudet University

Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D., is an associate professor in psychology and directs the Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Research Lab at Gallaudet University. Her research focuses on accessibility and utilization of cancer health information and patient reported outcomes among deaf people. As a dissemination strategy, her lab utilizes a community-based filmmaking approach to translate study results into accessible videos about preventing and controlling cancer in the Deaf community (her lab's first film can be viewed here).

As part of her NIH-funded R15 grant (NIH Area Grant), Dr. Kushalnagar and her team translated the HINTS instrument into American Sign Language (ASL) and administered the survey to more than 1,500 deaf people. The collected data are being used to identify patterns of health information seeking behaviors in the deaf community and to better understand issues related to patient-physician communication in the deaf population. Preliminary data suggest that though deaf people who use ASL generally go to the internet first for health information, many find the information they find difficult to understand. This suggests a need for continued efforts to make health information materials more accessible for this population.

Simply comparing a minority group with the general population can obscure real differences within the minority population.”

Selected Grants

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Last Updated: 05/04/2018 01:19:23