Mental Disorders in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adult Outpatients: A Comparison of Linguistic Subgroups

Autor/a: ØHRE, Bate
Año: 2017
Editorial: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, vol. 22, nº 1 (2017) pp. 105-117
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Educación » Aspectos psicológicos y cognitivos


The life of most individuals with early hearing loss is similar to that of other people. However, living life without typical hearing may pose additional challenges that may impact on the risk for developing mental disorders. This study investigated mental disorders and traumatic experiences in adult deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) psychiatric outpatients.

As language and communication are fundamental to diagnosing most mental disorders, all assessment instruments were translated to Norwegian sign language (NSL), and the psychometric properties of a NSL version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview were investigated and found acceptable.

The findings indicate that medical comorbidity is significantly more prevalent in DHH patients speaking Norwegian, and that these patients tend to be more socially isolated than patients using NSL. The level of mental distress and daily functioning did not differ significantly between the language groups; neither did the distribution of mental disorders. All patients reported traumatic events, with a mean of 6.2 different types; 85% reported subsequent traumatization not significantly associated with either residential school setting or communicative competence of childhood caregivers.