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Original Research Articles

Risks to Client Confidentiality when Communicating Health Information to Blind and Partially Sighted Persons

Authors:

Mhairi Thurston ,

Division of Nursing and Counselling, University of Abertay, Dundee, GB
About Mhairi

Mhairi Thurston is associated with the Division of Nursing and Counselling, University of Abertay, Dundee, UK. She is a registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist with British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). She is a Governor of BACP. She researches the socio-emotional impact of acquired vision impairment. She is registered blind.

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Allen Thurston

Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT7 1HL, GB
About Allen

Allen Thurston is Professor of Education and Director of Centre for Effective Education, Queen’s University Belfast, UK. He researches the socio-emotional impact of acquired vision impairment and socio-emotional and cognitive impact of disability in schools.

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Abstract

Purpose: This research was carried out to give a more accurate picture of the particular needs of the blind and partially sighted people living in Scotland. It explores the risks to client confidentiality if information is not provided in accessible formats.

Method: Data were gathered from a survey of 228 blind and partially sighted persons in 15 Health Authorities across Scotland. The survey reported NHS clients’ experiences of receiving health information in accessible reading formats.

Results: The data indicated that about 90% of blind and partially sighted persons did not receive communications from various NHS health departments in a format that they could read by themselves.

Conclusions: The implications for client privacy, confidentiality and the wider impact on life and healthcare have been highlighted. The implications for professional ethical medical practice and for public policy are discussed, and recommendations for improved practice are made.

How to Cite: Thurston, M. and Thurston, A., 2013. Risks to Client Confidentiality when Communicating Health Information to Blind and Partially Sighted Persons. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 24(1), pp.22–40. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v24i1.182
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Published on 01 May 2013.

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