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Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria

On-line version ISSN 2013-6463Print version ISSN 1575-0620


LOPEZ, M.; SAAVEDRA, F.J.; LOPEZ, A.  and  LAVIANA, M.. Prevalence of Mental Health problems in sentenced men in prisons from Andalucía (Spain). Rev. esp. sanid. penit. [online]. 2016, vol.18, n.3, pp.76-84. ISSN 2013-6463.

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of different mental health problems in men serving prison sentences in Andalusia. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional study of a random sample of 472 men interned in two prisons located in Andalusia. We collected socio-demographic and general criminal and penitentiary data, and we identified mental health problems with two validated instruments for epidemiological research in mental health: the SCID-I interview to diagnose Axis 1 disorders of the DSM-IV and the self-applied questionnaire IPDE to estimate personality disorders. We analyzed the data (proportions and confidence intervals) with the SPSS-18 statistical package. Results: 82.6% of the sample had a history of having suffered some type of mental health problem throughout their life (prevalence-life) and 25.8 have suffered from them in the past month (month prevalence). The most common disorders of the Axis I (DSM-IV) are related to abuse of and dependence on psychoactive substances (prevalence life of 65.9% and month prevalence of 6.6%), with an important but less frequent presence of affective (31.4%-9.3%), anxiety (30.9%-10, 4%) and psychotic disorders (9.5%-3, 4%). As regards personality disorders, the estimated probable prevalence lies between the 56.6% ("5" cutoff point) and the 79.9 ("4" cut-off point). Conclusions: The male inmate population in prisons in Andalucía shows a high prevalence of mental health problems, similar to that found in other Spanish and international prisons, but their care needs should take into account the different pathologies that they present.

Keywords : prisons; mental health; mental disorders; Spain; epidemiology; prevalence; risk factors; personality disorders.

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