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Clinical activity within a specialist mental health service for deaf people: comparison with a general psychiatric service

  • Jim Appleford (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

This paper compares the case mix and clinical activity in a specialist mental health service for deaf people within a general psychiatric population, using ICD–10 diagnostic criteria.

Results

Out-patient and in-patient caseloads differ between the two services: 27% of the deaf out-patient caseload have schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders (compared with 19% of hearing patients) and 19% have neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (compared with 8% of hearing patients). The general psychiatric service out-patient case-load had rates of 8% and 43% for bipolar affective disorder and unipolar depression, respectively, compared with 3% and 17% in the deaf group. Deaf patients have a mean length of stay of 59 days, compared with 30 days for the hearing group. In-patient treatment accounts for 89% of the annual treatment cost for the deaf patient population.

Clinical Implications

Expansion of community services for deaf people as recommended by a recent Health Advisory Service report could reduce admission rates for deaf patients, delivering treatment benefits and cost savings.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Health Advisory Service (1998) Forging New Channels: Commissioning and Delivering Mental Health Services for People who are Deaf. London: British Society for Mental Health and Deafness.
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Social Services Inspectorate (1997) A Service on the Edge: Inspection of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. London: HMSO.
Timmermans, L. (1989) Research project for the European Society for Mental Health and Deafness. Proceedings of the European Congress on Mental Health and Deafness, Utrecht, pp. 8791.
Vernon, M. & Daigle-King, B.V. (1999) Historical overview of inpatient care of mental patients who are deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 144, 5161.
World Health Organization (1992) Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD–10). Geneva: WHO.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Clinical activity within a specialist mental health service for deaf people: comparison with a general psychiatric service

  • Jim Appleford (a1)
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