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Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria
versión impresa ISSN 1575-0620
ARROYO-COBO, J. M.. Health care strategies for mental health problems in the prison environment, the Spanish case in a European context. Rev. esp. sanid. penit. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.3, pp.100-111. ISSN 1575-0620.
Introduction: A review was carried out of scientific literature on health care strategies for mental health problems in the prison environment. Data is given about the main activities put into practice by prison administrations as a response to the worrying information that has come to light in recent epidemiological studies on mental disorders in prison, with figures that, when compared to the general population, give results of double the number of cases of Common Mental Illness (CMI) and four times the number of cases of Severe Mental Illness (SMI) amongst prison inmates. Materials and methods: A review was made of the most important bibliographical databases containing health care policies for mental health problems in prison published by prison administrations in the last 10 years. This information was completed with other data obtained from an analysis of the indicators available in Health Care Coordination on its health care strategies for mental health in centres run by the Secretary General of Prisons, in Spain. Results: There is little in the way of scientific literature that clearly states health care policies for mental illness in the prison environment. Those that do tend to agree with a number of affirmations that include the obligation to offer a therapeutic response of equal quality to that received by patients in the community, the need for a multi-disciplinary team responsible for caring for this type of patient, along with a coordinated effort between the medical, social, legal and prison administrations that at a given time have to care for them.
Palabras clave : mental health; prisons; national strategies; Spain; quality of health care; equity in health; mental disorders; therapeutics.