Unmet treatment needs of older prisoners: a primary care survey

Age Ageing. 2004 Jul;33(4):396-8. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afh113. Epub 2004 May 19.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Data Collection
  • England
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Prisoners*
  • Wales