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Need for culturally sensitive treatment for deaf patients with psychiatric disorders
Date:3/11/2013

Philadelphia, Pa. (March 11, 2013) 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. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

"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 PatientsInterpreters 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
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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