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Article
October 17, 1977

Hearing-Impaired Patients

Author Affiliations

National Institute of Mental Health Washington, DC

JAMA. 1977;238(16):1722. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280170016008

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Abstract

To the Editor. —  It was good to see the article entitled "Medical Interpreting for Hearing-Impaired Patients" (237: 2397, 1977). The article brought into the open the difficulty deaf people have in receiving proper medical care because of the communication barrier. My own work in the field of medicalpsychiatric and mental health aspects of deafness covers a span of 14 years. During this time I have been aware that beyond the need for interpretive services, there is a need for qualified medical-psychiatric and mental health personnel to treat deaf patients who have such problems. Therefore, in the Mental Health Program for the Deaf, which I founded in 1963 at St Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC, personnel are trained to work with deaf people and their medical-psychiatric and mental health problems. In this connection, they are required to learn sign language and finger spelling to facilitate communication with deaf patients and deaf

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