Mental wellbeing among people in prison in Scotland: an analysis of repeat cross-sectional surveys

Tweed, E. J. , Gounari, X. and Graham, L. (2021) Mental wellbeing among people in prison in Scotland: an analysis of repeat cross-sectional surveys. Journal of Public Health, 43(2), e188-e195. (doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz106) (PMID:31583401) (PMCID:PMC8185554)

[img] Text
191721.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Background: Mental wellbeing among people in prison is poorly studied, despite featuring in many health and justice policies. We aimed to describe for the first time mental wellbeing among an unselected national prison sample. Methods: Since 2013, the Scottish Prisoner Survey—a biennial survey of people in custody in Scotland—has included the Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale (WEMWBS), a 14-item scale with higher scores indicating greater wellbeing. We analysed data from sweeps in 2013 (n = 3158), 2015 (n = 2892) and 2017 (n = 2405) using Student’s t-test, ANOVA and multiple linear regression. We also used WEMWBS data from the Scottish Health Survey stratified by age, gender and deprivation to compare with the population at liberty. Results: Mean WEMWBS scores overall were 43.4 in 2013 (SD = 12.2), 41.8 (SD = 11.9) in 2015 and 41.2 (SD = 12.3) in 2017. Mean scores were lower among people on remand and with multiple prison episodes. Age-standardized mean scores were lower among people in prison than their peers at liberty. Conclusions: Poor mental wellbeing is an important, under-studied facet of the extreme health inequalities associated with imprisonment. These results identify that people on remand or with multiple episodes are particularly disadvantaged and provide a baseline for monitoring impacts of service or policy interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Graham, Dr Lesley and Tweed, Dr Emily
Authors: Tweed, E. J., Gounari, X., and Graham, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Public Health
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1741-3850
Published Online:04 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Public Health 43(2): e188-e195
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU13
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU15
3011470Morbidity and mortality among people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage: a cohort study using cross-sectoral data linkageEmily TweedChief Scientist Office (CSO)CAF/17/11HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit