Assessing incarcerated women's physical and mental health status and needs in a Swiss prison: a cross-sectional study.

Details

Ressource 1Request a copy Under indefinite embargo.
UNIL restricted access
State: Public
Version: author
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_A3B819B0AA6D
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Assessing incarcerated women's physical and mental health status and needs in a Swiss prison: a cross-sectional study.
Journal
Health & justice
Author(s)
Augsburger A., Neri C., Bodenmann P., Gravier B., Jaquier V., Clair C.
ISSN
2194-7899 (Print)
ISSN-L
2194-7899
Publication state
Published
Issued date
22/02/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
10
Number
1
Pages
8
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: epublish
Abstract
Women make up 5% of the European prison population on average. Almost invisible in prison and health research, and suffering the stigma associated with female offending, incarcerated women are often forgotten, and their specific healthcare needs remain much ignored. Combining face-to-face survey interviews and medical chart data, we aim to assess the health status, healthcare needs, and access to preventive medicine of women incarcerated in Switzerland.
Sixty incarcerated adult women participated in a cross-sectional study to assess their life and incarceration histories, physical and mental health problems, medication, and use of medical services. Eligibility criteria were (a) an incarceration of at least four weeks and (b) the ability to provide written informed consent. Exclusion criteria were psychiatric instability and insufficient language competence. Women's average age was 34.3 years old (SD = 9.8); 45.0% of them were born in Switzerland, 33.3% in Europe and 15.0% on the African continent. Overall, 61.7% of women self-reported physical or mental health problems and 13.3% indicated they were once diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection. Further, 78.3% of women were active cigarette smokers; more than one in three women reported alcohol use problems and almost one in two women had used at least one illicit drug in the year before incarceration. Depression and perceived stress scores were above clinical cut-off points for more than half of interviewed women. When asked how they rated their health, 68.3% of women felt it had worsened since incarceration. All but four women had accessed prison medical services; however, our study does not indicate whether women's use of healthcare was indeed adequate to their needs.
This study demonstrated incarcerated women's poor health and health-risk behaviours. Structural changes and gender-responsive health promotion interventions have the potential to improve the health of incarcerated women and help them return to the community in better health.
Keywords
Law, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Disparities, Gender, Incarcerated women, Prison, Women’s health
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
25/02/2022 10:58
Last modification date
26/07/2022 5:37
Usage data