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Title: How do culturally deaf people experience neuropsychological assessment?
Author: Smith, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 6790
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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The lack of consideration of cultural factors within neuropsychological literature has been argued to be due to the assumption that assessment tools are measuring universal constructs (Nell, 2000), supported by the medical discourse with which neuropsychology has aligned itself and the subsequent implications of neutrality. However, evidence suggests that people experience assessments differently which may undermine the validity of the assessments. This is increasingly likely for participants from a different culture to that in which the assessment tool was developed, due to a greater degree of inference in any claims made. Evidence also suggests that cognitive processes are not only related to cultural experience, but that between-group differences increase exponentially with increased exposure to different cultures and formal education. Whilst the dominant construction of deafness is that of a disability, this is in direct contrast to many people who identify as culturally deaf, or Deaf. Whilst Deaf culture is difficult to define, it is felt to encompass shared experiences, traditions and beliefs and centre around a shared language, British Sign Language (BSL), whilst also covering the heterogeneity of experience of deaf and Deaf people. The researcher recruited eight participants to explore how culturally Deaf people experience neuropsychological assessment tools. Six participants were BSL users who identified as culturally Deaf, two of whom had experience of working with neuropsychological assessment tools. Two additional participants had experience of working as BSL-English interpreters. A ninth participant was recruited for the purpose of respondent validation. The data was analysed using Grounded Theory. Categories were constructed suggesting participants experienced the relationship with the researcher as unequal in power, due to the researcher being hearing, a professional and seen as linked to the mental health system and the assessment tools were experienced as lacking relevance to the participants. These categories were understood to load upon an axial code of 'not being understood'. The details of this, along with implications for both the assessment procedures and future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available