Palliative and end of life care in prisons: a mixed-methods rapid review of the literature from 2014–2018

McParland, C. and Johnston, B. M. (2019) Palliative and end of life care in prisons: a mixed-methods rapid review of the literature from 2014–2018. BMJ Open, 9(12), e033905. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033905) (PMID:31874895) (PMCID:PMC7008433)

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Objectives: To explore current practice in relation to palliative and end of life care in prisons, and to make recommendations for its future provision. Design: A rapid literature review of studies using qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods, with a narrative synthesis of results. Data sources: Six databases searched between January 2014 to December 2018: ASSIA, CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts and Scopus. Eligibility criteria: Primary research articles reporting qualitative or quantitative findings about palliative and end of life care in prisons, published in peer-reviewed, English language journals between January 2014 to December 2018. Participants: Prisoners, prisoners’ families, prison healthcare staff and other prison staff. Data extraction/synthesis: Data extracted included: citation, design, aim, setting, sample/population, methods and key findings. Data were analysed thematically then subject to a narrative synthesis in order to answer the research questions. Quality appraisal: Two researchers independently appraised articles using the Qualsyst tool, by Kmet et al (2004). Aggregate summary quality scores are included with findings. Articles were not excluded based on quality appraisal. Results: 23 articles were included (16 qualitative, 6 quantitative, 1 mixed methods). Top three findings (by prevalence) were: fostering relationships with people both inside and outside of prison is important to prisoners with palliative and end of life care needs, inmate hospice volunteers are able to build and maintain close relationships with the prisoners they care for and the conflicting priorities of care and custody can have a negative impact on the delivery of palliative and end of life care in prisons. Conclusions: The key findings are: relationships are important to prisoners at the end of life, inmate hospice volunteers can build close bonds with the prisoners in their care and the prison environment and regime conflicts with best practices in palliative and end of life care. Directions for future research are also identified.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This review constitutes part of a larger project titled the Evaluation of Macmillan End of Life Care in Prisons Service, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland (2018-2019).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McParland, Mr Chris and Johnston, Professor Bridget
Authors: McParland, C., and Johnston, B. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Nursing and Health Care
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:23 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 9(12):e033905
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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