The epidemiology of head injury in women in Scottish prisons

Seddon, Eleanor (2018) The epidemiology of head injury in women in Scottish prisons. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Women in prison (WiP) in Scotland are six times more likely to have a hospitalised head injury (HI) than the general population and have higher relative risk of HI than men in prison. HI is linked to increased violent offending and poorer prison rehabilitation outcomes. This study aimed to explore the epidemiology of HI in WiP and identify any unmet needs.

A retrospective cross-sectional design was utilised. 62 WiP were recruited from three Scottish prisons. Self-reported cause and severity of HIs, offending characteristics and comorbidities were recorded.

88.7% of participants had a HI and 77.3% experienced periods of repeated blows to the head. Most likely cause of HI was assault. 68.4% of repeated HI episodes were caused by intimate partner violence (IPV). Number of HIs with LOC was significantly associated with number of arrests (rs=.398, p=.001; moderate effect size, 95% CI [.17, .61] and time in prison (rs=.299, p=.027; moderate effect size, 95% CI [.05, .54]). Participants with HI were significantly more likely to report violent offences than those with no HI, regardless of the HI severity (p=.043, odds ratio: 6.61, 95% CI [1.09, 40.3]). 86.5% of participants experienced HI before their first offence, indicating it may play a role in offending. Average age of first HI was 11 years, which links to poorer outcomes than adulthood HI.

There were high rates of HI in WiP. HI was associated with offending characteristics and trauma. Further research is required with bigger sample sizes to confirm the role of HI in offending. Interventions for WiP may need to be adapted for HI populations and trauma-informed.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: prisoners, female, brain injuries, epidemiology.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McMillan, Professor Tom
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Miss Eleanor Seddon
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30920
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 14:59
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 09:55

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