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Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria

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


BRAZ-PAULI, Fernando et al. Working conditions and health of prison officers in Paraná (Brazil). Rev. esp. sanid. penit. [online]. 2022, vol.24, n.3, pp.79-86.  Epub Jan 12, 2023. ISSN 2013-6463.


This cross-sectional study was carried out to identify the associations between working and health conditions among prison officers at a state prison in Paraná, Brazil.

Material and method:

A proportional and stratified random sample of 125 individuals was used. The participants, who were not identified, completed a self-administered questionnaire.


The results showed a prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) of 30.4% (95%CI: 22.4-39.2). A total of 17.9% of the respondents had persistent stress (95%CI: 12.2-25.2), 66.4 had up to five health-related complaints (95%CI: 58.4-75.2) and 9.6% had scores that indicated higher risk for alcohol abuse and/or dependance (95%CI:4.8-16.0). Multivariate analyses showed that with an MPD outcome, health problems (p<0.01), physical environment (p=0.013) and organizational risks (p<0.01) were significant predictors. Persistent stress was predicted by age (p=0.031), health problems (p<0.01) and organizational risks (p=0.023), while health complaints were associated with health problems (p<0.01) and physical environment (p<0.01). There were no significant predictors for higher risk for alcohol abuse and/or dependance.


In general, the results demonstrate the precarious nature of the work of prison officers, and reveal the importance of further studies to evaluate whether this is a specific reality of the unit that was investigated, or whether these results are common in other prison environments.

Keywords : prisons; occupational health; mental health; cross-sectional studies; psychopathology.

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