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    ABSTRACT: Objective:Prisoners with intellectual disability who have a coexisting mental health issue often have unmet health needs and are more likely to reoffend than those with intellectual disability alone. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of co-occurring mental disorder among prisoners with intellectual disability and to explore the association between intellectual disability and mental disorder.Methods:Cross-sectional study of adult prisoners within 6 weeks of release from custody in seven prisons in Queensland, Australia between August 2008 and July 2010. Intellectual disability was assessed using a practical composite screening tool. Prisoners who scored <85 on the Hayes Ability Screening Index and reported either having attended a special school or having been diagnosed with intellectual disability were identified as having an intellectual disability. Mental health was assessed using self-reported psychiatric diagnoses, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K-10), and the Mental Component Summary score of the Short-Form-36 health survey version 2. The association between intellectual disability and mental health was assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.Results:Overall, 1279 prisoners completed the HASI: 316 (24%) scored below the recommended cut off for further diagnostic assessment of intellectual disability, 181 (14%) reported attending a special school, and 56 (4%) reported that they had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. On our composite measure, 115 (9%) participants were identified as having an intellectual disability. Among prisoners with intellectual disability, the estimated lifetime and current prevalence of co-occurring mental disorders was 52.5% (95% CI 43.3-61.5) and 37.2% (95% CI 28.8-46.5), respectively. Of those with intellectual disability, 13.5% (95% CI 8.3-21.1) reported very high psychological distress, as measured by the K10. Prisoners with intellectual disability were significantly more likely than their non-disabled peers to report a current diagnosis of depression [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.2] or substance dependence (AOR 3.7, 95% CI 1.6-8.4], after adjusting for potentially confounding variables. Prisoners with intellectual disability were also significantly more likely than their non-disabled peers to use antipsychotic medication (AOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-2.8).Conclusions:Prisoners with an intellectual disability were more likely than their non-disabled peers to have elevated rates of psychiatric comorbidity and unmet treatment needs. There is a need for enhanced collaboration between specialist intellectual disability psychiatric services and mainstream prison mental health services, to ensure coordinated service delivery for this dually disadvantaged group.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 05/2013; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: People with intellectual disability (ID) in the general population and people in prison experience unrecognised medical conditions and inadequate disease prevention. Among prisoners, those with an ID may be particularly disadvantaged. The aim of this study was to identify demographic, health and health-related characteristics of adult prisoners who screened positive for ID. METHODS: Cross-sectional data were collected via face-to-face administration of a structured questionnaire in seven prisons in Queensland, Australia, between 2008 and 2010. Participants were adult prisoners within 6 weeks of release from custody. We identified ID using a pragmatic screening tool. Prisoners who scored <85 on the Hayes Ability Screening Index and either (a) reported having attended a special school or (b) reported having been diagnosed with an ID were considered to have screened positive for ID. We compared the characteristics of participants who screened positive and negative for ID using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Screening positive for ID was associated with younger age, identifying as Indigenous and lower educational achievement. Prisoners who screened positive for ID were more likely to have been diagnosed with medical conditions such as heart disease (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval = 2.1; 1.0-4.2) and hearing problems (2.2; 1.3-3.7), after adjustment for age, sex, education level and Indigenous status. Screen-positive prisoners were less likely to have received preventive care interventions such as testing for hepatitis A infection (0.4; 0.2-0.6), and immunisation for tuberculosis (0.4; 0.2-0.8). Prisoners with possible ID were more likely to be obese (1.7; 1.1-2.7). CONCLUSIONS: Adult prisoners who screen positive for ID have worse health outcomes than their non-disabled peers. An improved understanding of physical health characteristics prior to release can direct treatment and support pathways out of the criminal justice system and inform transitional planning of health services for this profoundly disadvantaged group.
    Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 10/2012; · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential for an expanded HIV epidemic in Papua New Guinea (PNG) demands an effective, evidence-based and locally-appropriate national response. As sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be important co-factors in HIV transmission nationally, it is timely to conduct a systematic review of STI prevalences to inform national policy on sexual health and HIV/STI prevention. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of HIV and STI prevalences in PNG, reported in peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publications for the period 1950-2010. Prevalence estimates were stratified by study site (community or clinic-based), geographic area and socio-demographic characteristics. The search strategy identified 105 reports, of which 25 studies (10 community-based; 10 clinic-based; and 5 among self-identified female sex workers) reported STI prevalences and were included in the systematic review. High prevalences of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomonas were reported in all settings, particularly among female sex workers, where pooled estimates of 26.1%, 33.6%, 33.1% and 39.3% respectively were observed. Pooled HIV prevalence in community-based studies was 1.8% (95% CI:1.2-2.4) in men; 2.6% (95% CI:1.7-3.5) in women; and 11.8% (95% CI:5.8-17.7) among female sex workers. The epidemiology of STIs and HIV in PNG shows considerable heterogeneity by geographical setting and sexual risk group. Prevalences from community-based studies in PNG were higher than in many other countries in the Asia-Pacific. A renewed focus on national STI/HIV surveillance priorities and systems for routine and periodic data collection will be essential to building effective culturally-relevant behavioural and biomedical STI/HIV prevention programs in PNG.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(12):e15586. · 3.53 Impact Factor

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