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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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