Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Misdiagnosis of the Elderly who are Deaf

Elderly patients who are may get low scores on mental health tests because of a language barrier, according to a new study. A professor at Macon State College says this can lead to misdiagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. David Feldman found deaf patients typically scored between three and five percent lower on the exam than those who are hearing. The main reason was that the questions used language difficult to translate into sign language. He sees an experienced interpreter as critical to getting an accurate assessment.

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