Health-state utilities in a prisoner population: a cross-sectional survey

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2009 Aug 28:7:78. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-7-78.


Background: Health-state utilities for prisoners have not been described.

Methods: We used data from a 1996 cross-sectional survey of Australian prisoners (n = 734). Respondent-level SF-36 data was transformed into utility scores by both the SF-6D and Nichol's method. Socio-demographic and clinical predictors of SF-6D utility were assessed in univariate analyses and a multivariate general linear model.

Results: The overall mean SF-6D utility was 0.725 (SD 0.119). When subdivided by various medical conditions, prisoner SF-6D utilities ranged from 0.620 for angina to 0.764 for those with none/mild depressive symptoms. Utilities derived by the Nichol's method were higher than SF-6D scores, often by more than 0.1. In multivariate analysis, significant independent predictors of worse utility included female gender, increasing age, increasing number of comorbidities and more severe depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: The utilities presented may prove useful for future economic and decision models evaluating prison-based health programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New South Wales
  • Prisoners*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult