A qualitative study on the design and development of an mHealth app to facilitate communication with the Deaf community: perspective of community pharmacists

Elizabeth Yie-Chuen Chong, Uma Devi Palanisamy, Sabrina Anne Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: This study prepares the groundwork on the potential design and development of a mobile health (mHealth) app that will be able to bridge the communication gap between pharmacists and patients who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHoH).

Patients and methods: A focus group discussion was conducted with 12 community pharmacists. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling. Audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.

Results: Three themes were apparent: 1) suggestions for app design and content, 2) perceived benefits of the app, and 3) potential challenges related to the app. Participants believed the app would be able to facilitate and improve communication, and hence relationship, between pharmacists and the DHoH. Potential challenges of the app were highlighted, such as the need for manpower to manage the app, and its cost to this group of economically disadvantaged people. There were also concerns about privacy and security.

Conclusions: This study allowed community pharmacists, one of the end-users of the app, to provide feedback on the contents and design of the app, which would allow them to provide pharmaceutical care services to patients who are DHoH, and better serve them. Potential benefits and challenges of the app were also identified. Undoubtedly, through the mHealth app, community pharmacists will be better equipped to serve and communicate with the DHoH, and this will hopefully translate to improved health outcomes in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • deaf
  • community pharmacist
  • mHealth
  • pharmaceutical care
  • communication
  • qualitative

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