Unmet treatment needs of older prisoners: a primary care survey

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Abstract

Background

little is known about the treatment needs of older prisoners and to what extent they are being met.

Subjects

representative sample of 203 sentenced prisoners aged 60 and over in 15 prisons in England and Wales.

Design

case notes were surveyed using a standardised proforma and information on current medication was collected.

Results

three-quarters of older prisoners were prescribed medication. Those with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine health problems were prescribed medication that was mostly appropriately targeted. In contrast, only 18% of inmates with recorded psychiatric morbidity were prescribed psychotropic medication.

Conclusions

reviewing the medical records of older prisoners and considering the appropriateness of their current medication regime would be a primary care intervention that could significantly improve the health of this marginalized group.

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