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Assessing Deaf patients in the neurology clinic

Abstract

There are over 87 000 Deaf people in the UK with British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language.1 Few healthcare professionals receive training in Deaf awareness or in BSL, and missed diagnoses and inadequate treatment of Deaf patients are estimated to cost the National Health Service £30 million per year.2 Neurologists are likely to encounter Deaf BSL users in their practice, but without prior experience may find consultations challenging, especially within the time constraints and pressure of a standard clinic. In this article, we provide guidance on consulting with Deaf people in a neurology clinic, drawing on experience from our cognitive clinic for Deaf BSL users where effective communication is essential.

  • dementia
  • cognition
  • clinical neurology
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