Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A recipe for Medical Mistakes

Members of the Deaf community often get misdiagnosed and inappropriate treatment is given when they are suffering from mental health issues. That's the finding of a new study out of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Researchers found there are few health providers who are suited to work with the Deaf population--that is, health professionals who know ASL, have been exposure to the Deaf community, and understanding Deaf cultural values. The situation is especially difficult, the researchers say, when it comes to diagnosing serious problems, such as schizophrenia. For instance, explaining the concept of "hearing voices" or "talk therapy" to someone who has been deaf from birth. They call for specialized mental health training for ASL interpreters who work in psychiatric settings. Details of the study are in Journal of Psychiatric Practice.