Perspectives of Interactions with Healthcare Providers Among Patients Who Are Blind

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Healthcare providers’ (HCPs) stereotypes about the incompetence of blind and low-vision patients may lead them to patronize blind patients, over-focus on impairments, and neglect the presenting problem. The content of perceived HCP stereotypes about blind patients in the clinical setting was examined from the patient perspective with seven focus groups, including a total of 42 individual participants. Most participants reported an interaction when their HCPs treated them as if they were incompetent, and discussed how perceived evaluations of their warmth and competence impacted whether their HCPs trusted and respected them. Participants also discussed their evaluations of their HCPs’ warmth and competence, and how these evaluations impacted their trust and respect for the HCP. These results provide insight into blind patients’ experiences interacting with their HCPs and can inform interventions to 1) help HCPs avoid stereotypic attitudes and 2) improve HCPs’ comfort and abilities when working with patient with disabilities.


Copyright 2021 the National Federation of the Blind.