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October 2021

Prelingually profoundly deaf schizophrenic patients who hear voices: a phenomenological analysis

Author(s): McKenna, P. J.

Journal/Book: Acta Psychiat Scand. 1999; 99: 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, Dk-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark. Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd. 453-459.

Abstract: Objective: The aims of the study were to examine claims that profoundly deaf schizophrenic patients report auditory hallucinations, and to evaluate proposed explanations that such patients are really describing other symptoms, or that the phenomenon is restricted to those who had heard and understood language prior to becoming deaf. Method: A total of 17 schizophrenic/schizoaffective patients with onset of profound deafness prior to the age of 2 years underwent structured psychiatric interview. Results: Ten patients (59%) gave accounts of verbal auditory hallucinations with description of content. These did not appear to be attributable to other psychotic experiences and showed typical characteristics of schizophrenic hallucinations. The symptom was present in six patients who had been deaf from birth or early infancy. Conclusion: These findings suggest that auditory hallucinations are a common phenomenon in profoundly prelingually deaf schizophrenic patients, which cannot be accounted for by the above explanations.

Note: Article McKenna PJ, Fulbourne Hosp, Addenbrookes NHS Trust, Cambridge CB1 5EF, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): deafness; schizophrenia; auditory hallucinations; AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS; SIGN LANGUAGE; INNER SPEECH

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