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Measuring the quality of life of incarcerated individuals

Measuring the quality of life of incarcerated individuals Measuring quality of life (QoL) under incarceration can be used to track successful rehabilitation and risk of re-offending. However, few studies have measured QoL among general incarcerated populations, and it is important to use psychometrically strong measures that pose minimal burdens to respondents and administrators. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThe aim of this analysis was to explore the utility of a short generic tool measuring overall QoL, the QOL5, in an incarcerated population. The authors drew data from the Norwegian Offender Mental Health and Addiction Study, a cross-sectional survey of 1,499 individuals from Norwegian prisons.FindingsFactor analysis suggested a unidimensional structure that explained 53.2 percent of variance in QoL scores. Intrascale correlations were high and internal consistency was acceptable (α=0.764). The QOL5 was strongly correlated with mental health, moderately correlated with exercise frequency and weakly correlated with ward security.Practical implicationsThe QOL5 is a short measure that presents minimal burden to respondents and administrators. The authors recommend its further use in incarcerated populations to measure overall QoL as well as cross-cultural adaptation and validation in more languages.Originality/valueIn this analysis of the largest published sample to date of incarcerated individuals and their QoL, the QOL5 appears to be an acceptable and valid measure of overall QoL. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Measuring the quality of life of incarcerated individuals

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References (62)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1108/ijph-02-2018-0005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Measuring quality of life (QoL) under incarceration can be used to track successful rehabilitation and risk of re-offending. However, few studies have measured QoL among general incarcerated populations, and it is important to use psychometrically strong measures that pose minimal burdens to respondents and administrators. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThe aim of this analysis was to explore the utility of a short generic tool measuring overall QoL, the QOL5, in an incarcerated population. The authors drew data from the Norwegian Offender Mental Health and Addiction Study, a cross-sectional survey of 1,499 individuals from Norwegian prisons.FindingsFactor analysis suggested a unidimensional structure that explained 53.2 percent of variance in QoL scores. Intrascale correlations were high and internal consistency was acceptable (α=0.764). The QOL5 was strongly correlated with mental health, moderately correlated with exercise frequency and weakly correlated with ward security.Practical implicationsThe QOL5 is a short measure that presents minimal burden to respondents and administrators. The authors recommend its further use in incarcerated populations to measure overall QoL as well as cross-cultural adaptation and validation in more languages.Originality/valueIn this analysis of the largest published sample to date of incarcerated individuals and their QoL, the QOL5 appears to be an acceptable and valid measure of overall QoL.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 4, 2019

Keywords: Prisoners; Quality of life; Wellbeing; Mental health; Psychometrics; Health promoting prison

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