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16-02-2017 | Uitgave 6/2017

Quality of Life Research 6/2017

Factors related to the quality of life of older prisoners

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2017
Auteurs:
Stefaan De Smet, Liesbeth De Donder, Denis Ryan, Sofie Van Regenmortel, Dorien Brosens, Stijn Vandevelde

Abstract

Purposes

There is evidence of an increasing emphasis on the relevance of the quality of life-paradigm as an outcome measure for clients in geriatric, forensic, as well as correctional care. This paper aims to explore to what extent variables that were categorized according to the main areas of the Good Lives Model (‘the self’, ‘the body’ and ‘social life’) are related to the quality of life domains of older imprisoned offenders.

Methods

Data were collected by means of a structured questionnaire administered in individual interviews with 93 older prisoners aged 60 years and over in 16 prisons of the Dutch-speaking region in Belgium. Characteristics of the main GLM-areas were identified by specifically designed items as well three validated instruments (psychiatric disorders, loneliness, and frailty). Dependent variables consisted of the four sub-domains of the WHOQOL-BREF instrument which measures quality of life in four domains, namely: (1) physical health, (2) psychological health, (3) social relationships, and (4) environment. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used for statistical analysis.

Results

Individual variables, such as satisfaction with activities, were related to the older prisoners’ QoL in several domains simultaneously. Other than suicidal ideation, psychopathological symptoms had no significant relation to quality of life.

Conclusions

Approaches enabling older prisoner to disclose their interests, experiences, and feelings are important in prison. Special attention should be given to psychiatric and age-related symptoms of older prisoners, since they may not be noted by the prison staff, as older prisoners seem to be poorer self-advocates as compared to their younger peers.

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