Health-related research on older inmates: An integrative review

Authors

  • Susan J. Loeb,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, College of Health & Human Development and Department of Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University
    • 307D Health & Human Development East, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.
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    • Assistant professor.

  • Azza AbuDagga

    1. The Pennsylvania State University, 307D Health & Human Development East, University Park, PA
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    • Ph.D. candidate in Health Policy and Administration.


Abstract

The literature on older inmates' health is fragmented and insufficiently developed. In this integrative review, 21 research articles on health and older inmates were identified, critiqued, and synthesized to determine: the minimum age criterion most commonly used; health-related variables explored; health status; the health impact of incarceration; and aging-specific policies, programs, and facilities. Age 50 and older was used most often. The top three health variables were psychiatric conditions, physical illnesses, and substance abuse. Self-reports of health status varied across studies; however, inmates consistently reported health declines since incarceration. Older inmates' health needs appear often to be left unmet. Nursing investigations are needed leading to practice innovations to enhance prisoners' self-management to reduce disease burden and fiscal and societal costs. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 556–565, 2006

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