207369 Barriers to health for correctional staff

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:30 PM

Jeffrey L. Dussetschleger, DDS, MPH , University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT
Tim Morse, PhD, CPE , ErgoCenter and Occupational and Environmental Health Center, UConn Health Center, Farmington, CT
Martin G. Cherniack, MD , Ergonomic Technology Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Chinekwu Obidoa, BSc, MA, MPH , Universtiy of Connecticut, East Hartford, CT
Rajashree Kotejoshyer, MS , Allied Health Sciences/Health Promotion, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
The Health Improvement Through Employee Control (HITEC) study is an intervention study developed at the Center for Promoting Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW), a NIOSH-funded WorkLife Center. The HITEC study involves the integration of workplace health promotion with occupational health and safety. The particular emphasis is on ergonomics and musculoskeletal disease. The HITEC study aims to compare two approaches: 1) a professionally designed “best practices” and 2) an employee sponsored participatory program. Employees at two correctional institutions and two manufacturing facilities in the same New England State constitute the study populations. This presentation is on the correctional institutions, only.

Correction officers are an under studied population. Correction officers begin their careers in better physical condition than the population in general and, like firefighters, have strict inception criteria. However, during the average 20 years of employment required for full pension rights, officer health decreases dramatically, and often falls below national norms. This presentation presents qualitative data from the HITEC study in regards to health and its barriers among correction staff. It consists of ten interviews of managers and union leaders. The data was analyzed quantitatively using Atlas TI software. Several issues recurred, independent of the interview source. These issues and their impact on the health of the correction staff will be presented. We will also consider the use of qualitative data in this type of population, when used alongside more traditional surveys and checklists.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify barriers to health for correctional staff 2. Discuss the use of qualitative data with this population 3. Discuss the relationship of qualitative data and quantitative data in this population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Study manager and researcher for CPH-NEW
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.