Unmet treatment needs of older prisoners: a primary care survey.
Fazel S., Hope T., O'Donnell I., Jacoby R.
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.