Need for culturally sensitive treatment for deaf patients with psychiatric disorders
Members of the Deaf community who suffer from mental health problems need culturally sensitive treatment to avoid misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, according to a report in the March Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
"Deaf individuals comprise a cultural and linguistic minority group within the United States, and culturally and linguistically appropriate psychiatric treatment must reflect these differences," according to Sarah A. Landsberger, PhD, and coauthors of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. With the goal of providing guidance for hearing psychiatrists, the authors review the limited research literature on mental health care for deaf patients.
Providing Mental Health Care for Deaf Patients—Interpreters Needed!
Approximately 1.2 million American are functionally deaf―that is, they are unable to understand vocal communication even with hearing aids. Many deaf individuals identify culturally with the Deaf community and culture, in which deafness is not viewed as an impairment but rather as a locus of pride and identity.
When deaf patients require mental health services, the first major challenge is finding a means to communicate with the patient in order to elicit symptoms. Many deaf individuals use American Sign Language (ASL)—a manual language with its own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
"Ideally, clinicians most suited to working with the Deaf population are those who are fluent in ASL, have had significant exposure to the Deaf community, and understand Deaf cultural values," Dr Landsberger and coauthors write. Unfortunately, few providers meet these criteria.
For patients who are fluent in ASL, nonsigning clinicians will need to employ a certified interpreter with specialized training in mental health interpretation. Finding such interpreters can be difficult, however. Dr Landsberger and colleagues call for specialized mental health training for ASL interpreters who work in psychiatric settings.
Challenges in Communication, Diagnosis and Treatment
Unfortunately, some deaf individuals have never had adequate exposure to or training in ASL or other communication systems used by the Deaf population. They may have serious language deficits, communicating mainly by gestures and mime. For these patients, the doctor may need to employ both a certified deaf interpreter—who is trained to help gather the intended message and put it into grammatically correct ASL—as well as an ASL interpreter.
Correct diagnosis is another challenge. Evaluating for psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, in deaf patients can be especially difficult. A key question is whether the person has experienced hallucinations—especially auditory hallucinations (hearing voices). But how does one explain the concept of hearing voices to someone who has been deaf from birth?
Another common symptom of psychosis is disorganized thoughts, which are usually diagnosed based on disorganized speech. Psychiatrists evaluating deaf patients need to be cautious to avoid misinterpreting language deficits as a symptom of psychosis.
Effectively providing "talk" therapy—that is, different types of psychotherapy—to deaf patients poses obvious challenges. The authors discuss ways of adapting psychotherapy to be more effective for deaf patients and how the presence of an interpreter may affect the doctor-patient therapeutic relationship.
"As with any cultural minority, providers should seek specific training and education to become culturally competent providers to deaf people," Dr Landsberger and coauthors write. "At a minimum, clinicians who have large numbers of deaf patients in their caseloads should be knowledgeable about Deaf culture and become fluent in sign language." They conclude by calling for more research concerning mental health care for the deaf.
Provided by Wolters Kluwer Health
- Deaf sign language users pick up faster on body language Jan 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Mental health problems twice as prevalent in deaf people Mar 15, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Social care services are failing deaf children, says report Feb 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Deaf children's gesture mismatches provide clues to learning moments Apr 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Early exposure to language for deaf children Jun 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 10 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
Psychology & Psychiatry 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Children of depressed parents pick up on their parents' sadness—whether mom or dad realizes their mood or not.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 17, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0