Deaf adults and mental health: A review of recent research on the prevalence and distribution of psychiatric symptoms and disorders in the prelingually deaf adult population

Beate Øhre, Stephen von Tetzchner, Erik Falkum

Abstract


Research on the prevalence and distribution of mental disorders in the prelingually deaf population is scarce. In 1999, an extensive literature review was published, containing prevalence studies published prior to 1994. A systematic search was made for research publications about the prevalence and distribution of psychiatric symptoms and disorders published between 1995 and 2011. Eleven studies were found, five with samples from the general population and six with clinical samples. Since 1999, studies of deaf individuals have improved methodically, especially with regard to assessment procedures and instruments. However, selection bias, lack of representative samples, and unmatched comparison samples still preclude firm conclusions on the prevalence and distribution of psychiatric symptoms and disorders in the prelingually deaf population. This means that in order to gain a better understanding of the impact of prelingual deafness on mental health, studies with more representative samples and better matched samples in comparisons are needed.


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