236796 Healthcare Needs of Women Immediately Post-Incarceration

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Alison M. Colbert, PhD, APRN, BC , School of Nursing, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, APRN, BC , School of Nursing, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
Rick Zoucha, PhD, APRN, BC , School of Nursing, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
Susan Cohen, DSN, APRN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Tammy L. Hughes, PhD , School of Education, Duquense University, PIttsburgh, PA
Background: Women in the correctional system are a population at increased risk for communicable diseases, substance-abuse disorders, and mental health issues. However, little is known about the unique healthcare needs of this population for the period of time immediately following their release from incarceration. Methods: This qualitative study included eleven women recently released from jail or prison. In-depth interviews were used to explore health care needs, barriers to care, and opportunities for intervention. Life History Calendars (LHC) were used to explore episodes of incarceration and significant life and health events. This presentation will also include preliminary results from a follow-up focused ethnography with women offenders and service providers caring for this population. Results: Average age of participants was 41.2 years, with an average of 6.5 incarcerations. Ninety-four percent reported currently having health problems and 77% were taking medications. Qualitative results indicated that health care is a significant issue for women at this time, and that they are open and receptive to intervention. Barriers to health services included lack of resources, environmental obstacles (e.g living in a half-way house), and lack of options. Conclusions: Health and healthcare are significant issues for women as they leave jail, and this appears to be an appropriate time to intervene to support heath-related behaviors. The unique needs of the population require an intervention that is individualized and practical within a structured environment. Additionally insight is required about specific needs service delivery within the context of community reintegration, which led to the follow-up focused ethnography.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the increased risk for health care problems in incarcerated women. 2. List three unique healthcare needs of women recently released from jail or prison.

Keywords: Prisoners Health Care, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conduct research and conduct programming with incarcerated women, and because I am a faculty member in a graduate forensic nursing program.
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.