Demographics, Psychiatric Diagnoses, and Other Characteristics of North American Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Inpatients
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
This study examined demographic and clinical data from a specialty deaf inpatient unit so as to better understand characteristics of severely and chronically mentally ill deaf people. The study compares deaf and hearing psychiatric inpatients on demographic variables, psychiatric discharge diagnoses, a language assessment measure, a cognitive ability measure, and a measure of psychosocial functioning and risk of harm to self and others. Overall, findings indicate a broader range of diagnoses
... nge of diagnoses than in past studies with posttraumatic stress disorder being the most common diagnosis. Compared with hearing patients in the same hospital, deaf patients were less likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic or substance abuse disorder and more likely to be diagnosed with a mood, anxiety, personality, or developmental disorder. Psychosocial functioning of the deaf patients was generally similar to hearing psychiatric patients. Deaf patients presented significantly higher risks than hearing patients in areas of self-harm and risk of sexual offending. Cognitive scores show that both the deaf and hearing inpatient population is skewed toward persons who are lower functioning. An additional surprising finding was that 75% of deaf individuals fell into the nonfluent range of communication in American Sign Language.