Emotional Disturbances Expressed by Deaf Patients: Affective | 46460

Clinical and Experimental Psychology


Emotional Disturbances Expressed by Deaf Patients: Affective Deaf Syndrome

Madeleine ET Zöller and Trevor Archer

Structured assessment of affective mood and mental distress in deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals is difficult for various reasons. The aim of this paper is to examine the complex interaction between self-rated affective mood as well as the combined double burden of affective psychiatric disorders and deafness/hard-of-hearing, this interaction system has been termed the Affective Deaf Syndrome. Deaf and hard-of-hearing psychiatric polyclinic patients at a University Hospital in Sweden (n=52) were compared to healthy individuals (n=116). The Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale, Rosenberg’s Self-esteem Scale, the Stress and Energy questionnaire and a Background & Health Questionnaire were used. Our results clarified some issues of the emotional disturbances among the patient group with the following results. Firstly, the communication between family members was hindered due to a high rate of non-fluent sign communication (86%) within the families of the patients. Only few (10%) of the patients were found to have fluent Swedish language skills. Secondly, self-esteem was found to predict positive affective mood for patients (p<.01) and for controls (p<.001) although the patients had less self-esteem. Positive self-esteem is identified as a protective factor. Thirdly, ANOVA results indicated significant differences between patients and the healthy control group in self-rated stress (p<.001), analgesics (p<.001) and self-rated energy (p<.001). The conclusions from regression analyses of the patient group were that analgesics may be seen as a predisposing factor for the Affective Deaf Syndrome (ADS) and was identified as a key attribute for the patients at risk. Stress was positively related to sleep disturbance and analgesics. Further, suggestions on how to enhance the treatment quality of the patient group are presented.