Exploring differences in healthcare utilization of prisoners in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.

TitreExploring differences in healthcare utilization of prisoners in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMoschetti, K, Zabrodina, V, Stadelmann, P, Wangmo, T, Holly, A, Wasserfallen, J-B, Elger, BS, Gravier, B
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2017
Mots-clésDelivery of Health Care/utilization, Humans, Models, Prisoners, Probability, Switzerland, Theoretical

Prison healthcare is an important public health concern given the increasing healthcare needs of a growing and aging prison population, which accumulates vulnerability factors and suffers from higher disease prevalence than the general population. This study identifies the key factors associated with outpatient general practitioner (GP), nursing or psychiatric healthcare utilization (HCU) within prisons. Cross-sectional data systematically collected by the prison medical staff were obtained for a sample of 1664 adult prisoners of the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, for the year 2011. They contain detailed information on demographics (predisposing factors), diagnosed chronic somatic and psychiatric disorders (needs factors), as well as prison stay characteristics (contextual factors). For GP, nurse and psychiatric care, two-part regressions are used to model separately the probability and the volume of HCU. Predisposing factors are generally not associated with the probability to use healthcare services after controlling for needs factors. However, female inmates use higher volumes of care, and the volume of GP consultations increases with age. Chronic somatic and psychiatric conditions are the most important predictors of the probability of HCU, but associations with volumes differ in their magnitude and significance across disease groups. Infectious, musculoskeletal, nervous and circulatory diseases actively mobilize GP and nursing staff. Schizophrenia, illicit drug and pharmaceuticals abuse are strongly positively associated with psychiatric and nurse HCU. The occupancy rate displays positive associations among contextual factors. Prison healthcare systems face increasingly complex organizational, budgetary and ethical challenges. This study provides relevant insights into the HCU patterns of a marginalized and understudied population.


Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: epublish

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Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
Citation Key / SERVAL ID8316
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID29084290


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