Research on the health of people who experience detention or incarceration in Canada: a scoping review

BMC Public Health. 2015 Apr 25;15:419. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1758-6.


Background: We conducted a scoping review to define the extent and type of quantitative health status research conducted from 1993 to 2014 with people who have experienced detention or incarceration in correctional facilities in Canada.

Methods: We searched 15 databases, reviewed reference lists and relevant websites, and consulted with key stakeholders to identify eligible studies. We reviewed records for eligibility and extracted relevant data from eligible articles.

Results: We identified 194 studies that were eligible for inclusion. Most studies were conducted with males and with persons in federal facilities, and focused on mental health, substance use, and social determinant of health outcomes.

Conclusions: Health status data are limited for several outcomes, such as chronic disease, injury and sexual and reproductive health, and for persons in provincial facilities and post-release. Efforts should be made to improve data collection and knowledge dissemination, so that relevant data can be used more effectively to improve health and health care in this population.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys / methods*
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult