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Standardized outcome measures of mental health in research with older adults who are incarcerated

Stephanie Grace Prost (Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
Cynthia Golembeski (Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment, The New School, New York, New York, USA)
Vyjeyanthi S. Periyakoil (University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA)
Jalayne Arias (University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Andrea K. Knittel (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Jessica Ballin (Department of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA)
Heather D. Oliver (Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
Nguyen-Toan Tran (School of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 5 April 2022

Issue publication date: 2 June 2022

136

Abstract

Purpose

The targeted use of standardized outcome measures (SOMs) of mental health in research with older adults who are incarcerated promotes a common language that enables interdisciplinary dialogue, contributes to the identification of disparities and supports data harmonization and subsequent synthesis. This paper aims to provide researchers with rationale for using “gold-standard” measures used in research with community-dwelling older adults, reporting associated study sample psychometric indexes, and detailing alterations in the approach or measure.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors highlight the mental health of older adults who are incarcerated. They also discuss the benefits of SOMs in practice and research and then identify gold-standard measures of mental health used in research with community-dwelling older adults and measures used in research with older adults who are incarcerated. Finally, the authors provide several recommendations related to the use of SOMs of mental health in research with this population.

Findings

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among older adults who are incarcerated. Researchers have used a variety of measures to capture these mental health problems, some parallel to those used with community-dwelling samples. However, a more targeted use of SOMs of mental health in research with this population will contribute to important strides in this burgeoning field.

Originality/value

This review offers several practical recommendations related to SOMs of mental health in research with older adults who are incarcerated to contribute to a rigorous evidence base and thus inform practice and potentially improve the health and well-being of this population.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was in part supported by National Institute on Aging Grant # R24AG065175; Advancing Health Disparities Research in Aging: The Aging Research in Criminal Justice & Health (ARCH) Network. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Citation

Prost, S.G., Golembeski, C., Periyakoil, V.S., Arias, J., Knittel, A.K., Ballin, J., Oliver, H.D. and Tran, N.-T. (2022), "Standardized outcome measures of mental health in research with older adults who are incarcerated", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 200-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-08-2021-0085

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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