The purpose of the proposed pilot study is to test the Signs of Health Intervention (SoHi) for feasibility and effectiveness in decreasing risk for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) among Deaf adults. Effective CVD prevention programs have been developed to target various vulnerable populations but very little has been done to address CVD prevention in the Deaf community. Culturally Deaf adults are people who experienced early, significant hearing loss (a physical disability) resulting in a natural affinity for visual language (American Sign Language: ASL), and identification with a distinct cultural and linguistic minority group. Culturally Deaf adults have limited access to health related information due mainly to communication barriers, and Deaf adults'socioeconomic status is generally much lower than that of the hearing society. Deaf adults are more often unemployed or underemployed than others, have a lower mean educational level than their hearing counterparts and limited literacy with most reading at the 3rd to 4th grade level. Health information is typically provided in spoken or written language;thus Deaf adults face daunting barriers to accessing health information. The combination of communication barriers, low income, and limited education with low health literacy, secondary disabilities, and membership in ethnic minority groups put Deaf community members at significant risk for CVD. The Signs of Health Intervention (SoHi) is an innovative community based theory- driven lifestyle intervention focused on overcoming health communications barriers to promote CVD risk reduction in the Deaf community. The SoHi was developed from the investigator's previous research. The curriculum consists of classroom and community components taught entirely in American Sign Language (ASL). To date no interventions have been designed and tested to reduce CVD risks in Deaf adults. Results of this study will be used for a multi-site clinical trial and serve as a prototype to deliver other health-related programs within the Deaf community.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US, disproportionately effecting ethnic minority and low income individuals. The long-term goal of this research is to decrease risk for CVD among culturally Deaf Americans. The purpose of the proposed pilot study is to test the Signs of Health Intervention (SoHi) for feasibility and effectiveness in decreasing risk for CVD among Deaf adults by targeting modifiable CVD risk factors related to diet and physical activity.