Health-related research on older inmates: an integrative review

Res Nurs Health. 2006 Dec;29(6):556-65. doi: 10.1002/nur.20177.


The literature on older inmates' health is fragmented and insufficiently developed. In this integrative review, 21 research articles on health and older inmates were identified, critiqued, and synthesized to determine: the minimum age criterion most commonly used; health-related variables explored; health status; the health impact of incarceration; and aging-specific policies, programs, and facilities. Age 50 and older was used most often. The top three health variables were psychiatric conditions, physical illnesses, and substance abuse. Self-reports of health status varied across studies; however, inmates consistently reported health declines since incarceration. Older inmates' health needs appear often to be left unmet. Nursing investigations are needed leading to practice innovations to enhance prisoners' self-management to reduce disease burden and fiscal and societal costs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged / psychology
  • Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bibliometrics
  • Cost of Illness
  • Data Collection
  • Forecasting
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prisons / organization & administration
  • Research / organization & administration*
  • Research Design