The national prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders among deaf adults who use American Sign Language (ASL) remains largely understudied. Data for self-reported depression and anxiety disorder diagnosis (n = 1,704 deaf adults; n = 3,287 hearing adults) as told by their healthcare providers were drawn from HINTS-ASL and HINTS datasets. Chi-square and Poisson regression analysis compared characteristics and predictors for depression or anxiety disorder diagnosis among deaf adults. Rate of diagnosed depression or anxiety disorder was significantly higher (25%) and occurred at earlier age (45 years; SD = 15) for deaf adults compared to hearing adults (22%; mean age = 56; SD = 14). After adjusting for covariates, deaf individuals who were White, younger, female, educated, or single were significantly more likely to self-report a diagnosis of depression/anxiety disorder as told by their healthcare providers. Deaf adults have higher reported rate of diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder at an earlier onset compared to the general population. Communication access with healthcare providers is essential for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and follow up care.
  • Author(s):
    Kushalnagar, P., Reesman, J., Holcomb, T., & Ryan, C.
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  • Journal:
    Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
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Kushalnagar, P., Reesman, J., Holcomb, T., & Ryan, C. (2019). Prevalence of Anxiety or Depression Diagnosis in Deaf Adults. Journal of deaf studies and deaf education, 24(4), 378–385.