BSL Digital Mental Health

A research project for improving mental health services for BSL users.

Welcome to BSL Digital Mental Health

This research project concerns Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL). Deaf people are more likely to have poorer mental health than the general population. They also face difficulties in accessing services and recovering from mental health difficulties. Throughout the country, there are some specific services available for Deaf people but not all users have access to them. One possible solution is for Deaf people to have therapy in BSL via videocall, but we do not know if this is helpful. We are unsure if therapy via a videocall is as effective as face-to-face therapy.

Dr Katherine Rogers, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, (NIHR award reference number: PDF-2018-ST2-004) is funded by the NIHR for this research project. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, NHS or the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

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Our research

Our research project contains three main studies: (i) a pilot experimental study on psychological assessment in BSL; (ii) a new questionnaire to evaluate the patients’ experience; and (iii) a comparative study to compare therapy in BSL via video call and face-to-face.

Study one: Pilot study

A pilot experimental study on psychological assessment in BSL. This will involve Deaf people doing the questionnaires in BSL online as well as via face-to-face. We will find out if people respond in the same way regardless of how they do the questionnaire.

Study two: New questionnaire

A new questionnaire called the BSL Patient Experience Questionnaire will be created. It will include questions in BSL that are important and relevant to Deaf people and their experience in healthcare. We will check with Deaf people to find out if it makes sense to them and will test it with Deaf people.

Study three: Comparative study

We will compare therapy in BSL via videoconferencing and via face-to-face. We will recruit Deaf people with anxiety and/or depression. This study will find out if we can recruit enough people in good time, if Deaf people mind being told which therapy to have, if there are differences in the recovery of Deaf people who received therapy via videoconferencing compared to those who received face-to-face therapy. Participants will complete the BSL Patient Experience Questionnaire, and some will be interviewed.


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