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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


OVIEDO-JOEKES, Eugenia et al. Perceived Health and Use of Health Care Services in Inmates of an Andalusian Prision, 1999. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.79, n.1, pp.35-46. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The study of the health condition of the populations under confinement in penitentiaries is based on the evidence of a more deteriorated health than the general population and a greater degree of social exclusion, which is associated with worse general health. This study is aimed at ascertaining how the inmates of an Andalusian penitentiary perceive their health condition and the use made thereby of the healthcare services, as well as the factors associated with those variables. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional study. The data was collected with a questionnaire. The sample size was 450 inmates, 90.4% of whom were males. Results: Seventy-two percent of those taking part in the study considered their health to be good or very good, 32.7% stating having seen the doctor once a month or more often. A total 43.1% of the participants stated having chronic illnesses, mainly HIV (19.1%) and hepatitis C (18.2%); 40.9% stating that they take medication. Worse health was perceived among the older inmates, those who have to serve longer than a five-year sentence, those who are repeat offenders and those not having pending trials. Those perceiving their health to have deteriorated over the past year have chronic illnesses and take medication. The regression model for the use of healthcare services shows that they are used to a greater extent by those who are serving a longer than a 5-year sentence, those who have been in prison for less than a year and those who take medication. Conclusions: The results show the importance of increas the monitoring of possible addictive disorders upon entering prison and of the trend and treatment of chronic diseases.

Keywords : Prisons; Health survey; Health services.

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