Improving Communication and Healthcare Outcomes for Patients with Communication Disabilities


About this study

The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness and implementation of 2 interventions to increase primary care providers’ use of communication strategies, improving the quality of their communication with patients with communication disability (CD).

In the United States, 14% of all adults report a speech, language, voice, and/or hearing disability (collectively known as communication disabilities, CD).1-3 Patients with CD experience inequities in receipt of and access to high-quality healthcare services, including primary care. Poor patient-provider communication is a significant contributor to these disparities. When healthcare providers use evidence-based communication strategies, patients with CD have improved communication outcomes and satisfaction. Unfortunately, providers rarely use the strategies in practice.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All patients 18 years and older.
  • Individuals who attend the participating study clinics and identify as having a CD.
  • If a patient is unable to provide consent, his/her legal guardian will serve as a proxy respondent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Individuals less than 18 years old.
  • Patient participants: Individuals without a communication disability
  • Healthcare team participants: Individuals who do not work at participating study sites.


Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Sean Phelan, Ph.D.

Closed-enrolling by invitation

What is this? (?)
Not open to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria, but only those invited to participate by the study team.

Contact information:

Sean Phelan Ph.D.

(507) 266-4885

More information


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