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Deaf, Hard of Hearing Mothers Needed for Survey about Health Care during Pregnancy

Researchers at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan are looking for Deaf and hard of hearing mothers to participate in a survey about their health care during pregnancy.

To participate, the woman must have given birth in the U.S. in the last 10 years and have been deaf or hard of hearing at the time of her pregnancy. The survey is available in English, Spanish, and ASL. Anyone interested in participating or wanting more information may access the survey at:

The survey will be available through May 31, 2021. Anyone who completes the survey can enter a drawing to win a gift card. The drawing will be conducted once the survey closes.

Study for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Mothers 

The purpose of the survey is to understand the healthcare experiences of mothers with hearing loss in order to develop clinical guidelines that can help improve care during pregnancy.

Research studies have documented health disparities and healthcare barriers experienced by deaf and hard of hearing people, however there is very little available research about pregnancy experiences and disparities.

“The pregnancy and birth disparities are striking between deaf and hard of hearing and hearing women,” says Dr. Mike McKee, one of the researchers conducting the survey, noting that more research is needed to determine causation.

The researchers conducting this survey have found that women with hearing loss were more likely to have preterm birth, low and very low birth weight infants, and low Apgar scores than women without hearing loss.

“…women with hearing loss were more likely to have preterm birth, low and very low birth weight infants, and low Apgar scores…”

Dr. McKee notes several factors likely at play in disparities, “Communication breakdowns is a major driver for inappropriate healthcare utilization, inadequate adherence to treatments or risk modification and lower patient satisfaction or trust.”

The researchers are also in the process of analyzing qualitative interview data to complement quantitative findings and plan to conduct interviews with obstetric clinicians later this year. This survey will contribute important information to other findings to help construct an overall picture of the pregnancy outcomes and experiences of women with hearing loss.

“We need to think about how we can design a healthcare system that is patient-centered and truly accessible,” says Dr. McKee.

Read more: 5 Tips for attending a doctor’s appointment with hearing loss

Additional information:

This survey is part of a larger study funded by the National Institutes of Health (R01HD090103) on Pregnancy Outcomes and Experiences of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Women. The principal investigators are Dr. Monika Mitra of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University and Dr. Mike McKee, a researcher and practicing clinician with hearing loss at the University of Michigan Medical School. The survey is approved by the University of Michigan institutional review board (HUM00137504).

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of

Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number


The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or


Mitra, M., Akobirshoev, I., McKee, M., & Iezzoni, L. I. (2016). Pregnancy outcomes among women with hearing loss. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(6):865-873. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.08.001

Mitra, M., McKee, M.M., Akobirshoev, I., Valentine, A., Ritter, G., Zhang, J., McKee K., Iezzoni, L.I. (2020). Pregnancy, birth, and infant outcomes among women who are deaf or hard of hearing. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Jan 15. pii: S0749-3797(19)30477-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.10.012.

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.