Aboriginal mothers in prison in Australia: a study of social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Authors:
Elizabeth A Sullivan
Elizabeth A Sullivan
School of Women's and Children's Health
Dunedin | New Zealand
Sacha Kendall
Sacha Kendall
UNSW Randwick Hospital Campus
Australia
Sungwon Chang
Sungwon Chang
University of Western Sydney
Australia
Eileen Baldry
Eileen Baldry
University of New South Wales
Australia
Reem Zeki
Reem Zeki
University of Technology Sydney
Mandy Wilson
Mandy Wilson
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Tony Butler
Tony Butler
University of New South Wales
Australia

Aust N Z J Public Health 2019 Jun 17;43(3):241-247. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, New South Wales.

Objective: To describe the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of Aboriginal mothers in prison.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey, including a Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) and Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (5-item version) administered to Aboriginal women who self-identified as mothers.

Results: Seventy-seven Aboriginal mothers in New South Wales (NSW) and 84 in Western Australia (WA) participated in the study. Eighty-three per cent (n=59) of mothers in NSW were in prison for drug-related offences, 64.8% (n=46) of mothers in WA were in prison for offences committed under the influence of alcohol. Sixty-eight per cent (n=52) of mothers in NSW and 35% (n=28) of mothers in WA reported mental health problems. Physical (PCS) and Mental (MCS) component scores of SF-12 varied for mothers in NSW and WA. Mothers in NSW experienced poorer health and functioning than mothers in WA (NSW: PCS 49.5, MCS 40.6; WA: PCS 54.4, MCS 48.3) and high levels of psychological distress (NSW: 13.1; WA 10.1).

Conclusions: Aboriginal mothers in prison have significant health needs associated with physical and mental health, and psychological distress. Implications for public health: Adoption of social and emotional wellbeing as an explanatory framework for culturally secure healthcare in prison is essential to improving health outcomes of Aboriginal mothers in prison in Australia.

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Source
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1753-6405.12
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12892DOI Listing
June 2019
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