A Culturally and Linguistically Specific Deaf Depression Screener

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 9R44TR000345-03A1
Agency Tracking Number: R44TR000345
Amount: $1,411,241.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NCATS
Solicitation Number: PA11-133
Small Business Information
71 W 23RD ST, 8TH FL, NEW YORK, NY, -
DUNS: 927851295
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (212) 845-4451
Business Contact
Phone: (212) 845-4567
Email: bernhard@ndri.org
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Hearing impairment/deafness is the most common sensory limitation in the U.S. An estimated 11 million individuals in the US are deaf or hard-of-hearing. It has been estimated that approximately 1 million Americans use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary means of communication making it a distinct linguistic minority. This proposal seeks to improve clinical practice by creating a computerized, self-administered depression screener in ASL that is culturally and linguistically accessible to deaf individuals, an at-risk and traditionally underserved population. No current depression screeners have been shown to be valid for the majority of prelingually deaf persons who use ASL as their main communication mode. Studies have shown that depression occurs in higher rates among deaf persons than hearing persons. While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended systematic screening for depression in primary care clinical settings in 2002, deaf persons have not yet routinely had access to this preventive service. Providing primary care physicians with a depression screener that is culturally and linguistically accurate and can be self-administered via computer and can be used on iPads and iPhones with no further development, can greatly increase the chance that deaf persons with depression will receive proper diagnostic assessment and treatment which can substantially improve their quality of life. The Deaf Depression Screener will also improve scientific knowledgeby providing a valid method for estimating the prevalence of depression among deaf persons in primary care which cannot now be accomplished due to the lack of a valid screening instrument. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Screening for depression is recommended for all primary care patients. Deaf persons who use American Sign Language as their main mode of communications are at risk for depression and cannot be screened with existing screeners. This proposal will develop a computerized, self-administered Deaf Depression Screener in American Sign Language that is culturally and linguistically specific and deaf user friendly.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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