Advertisement

Quality of Life Measures in the Deaf

  • J. Fellinger
  • D. Holzinger
  • J. Gerich
  • D. Goldberg
Reference work entry

Abstract:

Prelingual  deafness has a prevalence rate of 1 per 1,000 in the adult population. It entails far reaching communicative problems with profound consequences in cognitive, social and emotional development.

In that context the term “deaf” is seen from a cultural perspective. The use of sign language is the most important factor in establishing a deaf community.

As quality of life has never been assessed before in a larger deaf population an interactive computer-based assessment package for measuring quality of life and psychological distress in full self administration was developed.

The Brief version of the WHO Quality of Life (WHOQOL, http://www.bath.ac.uk/whoqol/questionnaires/ethics-statement.cfm) Questionnaire, the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12, http://www.nfer-nelson.co.uk/health_and_psychology/resources/general_health_questionnaire/general_health_questionnaire.asp) and five subscales of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI, http://pearsonassessments.com/tests/bsi.htm) have been translated into sign language, videotaped and installed into the computer program ANIMAQU.

A total of 236 members of the deaf community in Upper Austria participated 2002/2003 (total number of registered members 502).

Reliability of the versions for the deaf was in an acceptable range for the WHOQOL-Bref and the GHQ-12. For the BSI the reliability was even higher than that of the general population.

The results of the WHOQOL-Bref and the BSI were compared with normative data from German-speaking populations, the GHQ data were compared with an Austrian normative sample.

The deaf sample had a significantly poorer quality of life than the general population for the physical and psychological  domains (p < 0.01) as measured by the WHOQOL-BREF. However, in the domain of social relationships no significant difference (p = 0.19) was demonstrated. All findings with the GHQ-12 and the BSI show much higher levels (p = 0.01) of  mental distress among the deaf.

Conclusion: Although a poorer quality of life and a higher level of mental distress is demonstrated the similarity to the general population in the domain social relationships can be regarded as an indicator of the ability of the deaf community to establish satisfying relationships based on a common communication system. For most deaf people sign language has that vital role.

Keywords

Sign Language Mental Distress Deaf Child Interpersonal Sensitivity Brief Symptom Inventory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:

BSI

Brief Symptom Inventory

GHQ

General Health Questionnaire

p

level of significance

QOL

Quality of life

sd

standard deviation

WHOQOL

Bref World Health Organisation’s Quality of life questionnaire – brief version

References

  1. Angermeyer MC, Kilian R, Matschinger H. (2000). WHOQOL-100 und WHOQOL-BREF. Handbuch für die deutschsprachige Version der WHO Instrumente zur Erfassung der Lebensqualität. Göttingen.Google Scholar
  2. Bird CE, Rieker PP. (1999). Soc Sci Med. 48: 745–755.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bridgeman G, Maypherson B, Rako M, Campbell J, Manning V, et al. (2000). A National Epidemiological Survey of mental illness in the New Zealand deaf community. In: Paper presented to the 5th European and 2nd World Conference on Mental Health and Deafness. Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  4. Canut M, Teresa L. (2003). Development and psychometric analysis of a positive mental health questionnaire Psicologia Conductual Revista Internacional de Psicologia Clinica de las Salud. 11(1): 61–78.Google Scholar
  5. Checinski K. (1991). Preliminary findings of the study of the prevalence of psychiatric disorder in prelingually deaf adults living in the community. In: Proceedings, Mental Health and Deafness Conference. St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London.Google Scholar
  6. Davis A, Wood S, Healy R, Webb H, Rowe S. (1995). J Am Acad Audiol. 6: 365–370.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Derogatis LR, Spencer PM. (1982). Brief Symptom Inventory: Administration, Scoring and Procedures Manual I. Clinical Psychometric Research, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  8. Fellinger J, Holzinger D, Schoberberger R, Lenz G. (2005a). Nervenarzt 76/1: 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Franke HG. (2000). BSI-Brief Symptom Inventory von Derogatis LR (Kurzform der SCL-90-R)-Deutsche Version. Manual, Beltz Test GmbH, Göttingen.Google Scholar
  10. Gelter I. (1987). Der Sprachheilpädagoge. 3: 37–42.Google Scholar
  11. Gerich J, Lehner R, Fellinger J, Holzinger D. (2003). ZUMA-Nachrichten 52, Jg. 27: 35–54.Google Scholar
  12. Goldberg DP, Williams PA. (1988). User’s Guide to the GHQ. NFER Nelson, Windsor.Google Scholar
  13. Graaf R. (2002). Psychosom Med 64(1): 61–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Holt JA. (1994). Stanford achievement test, 8th ed: reading comprehension subgroup results. Am Ann Deaf 138: 172–175.Google Scholar
  15. Howlin P, Rutter M. (1987). The consequences of language delay for other aspects of development. In: Yule M, Rutter M (eds.) Language Development and Disorders. Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 271–294.Google Scholar
  16. Hu Y, Stewart-Brown S, Twigg L, Weich S. (2007). Psychol Med. 37(7): 1005–1013.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Katschnig H, Ladinser E, Scherer M, Sonneck G, Wancata J. (2001). Österreichischer Psychiatriebericht, 2001: Teil 1, Daten zur psychiatrischen und psychosozialen Versorgung der österreichischen Bevölkerung. Bundesministerium für soziale Sicherheit und Generationen, Wien.Google Scholar
  18. Kyle J. (1990). The deaf community: custom, culture and tradition. In: Prillwith S, Vollhaber T (eds.) Sign language research and application. Signum, Hamburg, pp. 201–213.Google Scholar
  19. Linden M, Maier W, Achberger M, Herr R, Helmchen H, Benkert O. (1996). Nervenarzt 67: 205–215.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Lipton DS, Goldstein MF, Fahnbulleh FW, Gertz EN. (1996). Am Ann Deaf 141(5): 370–378.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Mullen PE, Martin JL, et al. (1993). Br J Psychiatry 163: 721–732.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mullen PE, Martin JL, et al. (1994). Br J Psychiatry 165(2): 35–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Prillwitz S. (1982). zum Zusammenhang von Kognition, Kommunikation und Sprache mit Bezug auf die Gehörlosenproblematik. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, pp. 271–289.Google Scholar
  24. Ridgeway S. (1993). Child Abuse Rev. 2(3): 166–173.Google Scholar
  25. Ridgeway S. (1997). Deaf worlds 13(1): 9–18.Google Scholar
  26. Schein JD. (1987). The demography of deafness. In: Higgins PC, Nash JE (eds.) Understanding Deafness Socially. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, pp. 1–27.Google Scholar
  27. Schein JD, Delk MT. (1974). The Deaf Population of the United States. The National Association of the Deaf, Silver Spring, MD.Google Scholar
  28. Steinberg AG, Lipton DS, Eckhardt EH, Goldstein M, Sullivan JV. (1998). Am J Psychiatry. 155(11): 1603–1604.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Sudman S, Bradburn NM. (1974). Response Effects in Surveys. Chicago.Google Scholar
  30. Swanston HY, Tebbutt JS, O’Toole BI, Oates RK. (1997). Pediatrics. 100(4): 600–608.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tourangeau R, Smith TW. (1996). Asking sensitive questions: the impact of data collection, question format, and question context. Publ Opin Q. 60: 275–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Üstun TB, Satorius N. (1995). Mental Illness in General Health Care. An international Study. John Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  33. Verbrugge L. (1985). J Health Soc Behav. 24: 16–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Werngren-Elgstrom M, Dehlin O, Iwarsson S. (2003). Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 37: 13–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. WHOQOL Group. (1998). Development of the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment. Psychol Med. 28: 551–558.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Fellinger
  • D. Holzinger
  • J. Gerich
  • D. Goldberg

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations