Objective: This study examined the diagnostic and clinical features of deaf psychiatric inpatients. Methods: Archival clinical data for deaf and hard-of-hearing adults (N=30) were compared with data for a random sample of hearing adults (N=60) admitted to a state psychiatric hospital from 1998 to 2008. Results: Significant differences were found between deaf and hearing inpatient groups in the frequency of impulse control disorders (23% versus 2%), pervasive developmental disorders (10% versus 0%), substance use disorders (20% versus 45%), mild mental retardation (33% versus 3%), and personality disorders (17% versus 43%). The deaf group had a larger proportion with diagnoses of psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (17% versus 2%). Deaf inpatients had longer hospitalizations than hearing inpatients (17 months versus ten months). Conclusions: Clinicians working with the underserved, understudied population of deaf and hard-of-hearing psychiatric inpatients should be aware of the cultural and linguistic differences in assessment and treatment and make efforts to modify their approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health