Volume 10 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 2014 Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference

Open Access

Multi-focal evaluation and establishment of primary care for recently incarcerated women

  • Diane S Morse1, 2Email author,
  • John L Wilson1,
  • Ann M Dozier3 and
  • Catherine Cerulli1, 4
Addiction Science & Clinical Practice201510(Suppl 1):A41

DOI: 10.1186/1940-0640-10-S1-A41

Published: 20 February 2015

Background

Individuals recently released from incarceration face challenges while accessing primary medical care, mental health care, addiction treatment, and medication [1]. Furthermore, women are the fastest growing incarcerated population and have additional health risks, such as histories of trauma, high-risk sexual behaviors, and increased risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis C [2]. Re-entering individuals often resort to emergency rooms, where they will not obtain adequate long-term strategies for treatment. Primary care clinics have been established for patients with substance abuse [3], with recent recommendations to add mental health care [2]. We examined effects of a transitions primary care clinic for recently released women housed in a department of psychiatry at an academic medical center.

Materials and methods

Formerly incarcerated community health workers (CHWs) recruited women (N = 95) recently released and scheduled for release from jail, prison, probation, or transitional housing. Women who lacked an adequate primary care provider were recruited to attend the Women’s Initiative Supporting Health (W.I.S.H.) Transitions Clinic between September 2012 and July 2014. W.I.S.H. is one of 11 culturally informed clinics within the Transitions Clinic Network consortium and employs trauma and culturally informed practices [4]. An internist (DSM) conducted comprehensive, multifocal evaluations on all clinic patients. The key aim of this project was to assess the extent to which screening and assessment resulted in patient follow-up recommendations for future testing. Of primary interest were testing for HIV, hepatitis A, B, and C, and sexually transmitted infections.

Results

Of the 95 women recruited (Table 1), 68 (72%) attended the clinic at least once and completed the intake process. Women were recruited at the local jail (n = 26), transitional housing (n = 21), community supervision programs (n = 12), shelters (n = 5), community agencies (n = 2), and through self-referrals (n = 2). The majority of patients who were referred to testing completed the testing (Table 2). Patients received mental health and addiction assessments (including nicotine) and were offered treatment.
Table 1

Demographical information of individuals recruited from September 2012 to July 2014

 

Attended clinic

Did not attend clinic

 

N

Percentage

N

Percentage

Number of individuals recruited

68

-

27

-

Mean age

(SD)

37.3

(11.1)

-

-

34.4

(10.2)

-

-

Race:

African American

Caucasian

Asian

Other

26

36

1

5

38

53

2

7

14

13

0

0

52

48

0

0

Ethnicity:

Hispanic

6

9

22

81

History of intimate partner violence

42

62

-

-

History of child abuse

19

28

-

-

Table 2

Women’s Initiative Supporting Health (W.I.S.H.) transitions clinic patient testing data from September 2012 to July 2014

 

N

Percentage

Hepatitis A testing

Testing indicated/ordered

Completed testing

62

39

91

72

Hepatitis B testing

Testing indicated/ordered

Completed testing

67

45

98

75

Hepatitis C testing

Testing indicated/ordered

Completed testing

63

42

92

71

HIV testing

Testing indicated/ordered

Completed testing

Declined testing

66

43

2

97

70

3

Sexually transmitted infection testing

Testing indicated/ordered

Completed testing

40

36

59

90

Conclusions

Women recently released from incarceration to a clinic housed in psychiatry succeeded in linking patients to primary care and assessments. Formerly incarcerated CHWs recruited most women from incarceration and transitional housing. Clinics for justice-involved women using a trauma-informed approach may serve to improve these vulnerable patients' health, which in turn may improve the health of their families and communities. More study is needed to address potential policy changes required in hiring those with a felony history. Additionally, efforts to engage Hispanic women and those who declined testing are worthy of further explanation.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine
(2)
Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine
(3)
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine
(4)
Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, University of Rochester

References

  1. Morse DS, Cerulli C, Bedell P, Wilson JL, Thomas K, Mittal M, Lamberti JS, Williams G, Silverstein J, Mukherjee A, Walck D, Chin N: Meeting health and psychological needs of women in drug treatment court. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014, 46: 150-157. 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.08.017.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnert ES, Perry R, Wells KB: Reforming healthcare for former prisoners. J Gen Intern Med. 2014, 29: 1093-1095. 10.1007/s11606-014-2816-y.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Saitz R, Horton NJ, Larson MJ, Winter M, Samet JH: Primary medical care and reductions in addiction severity: A prospective cohort study. Addiction. 2005, 100: 70-78.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Wang EA, Hong CS, Samuels L, Shavit S, Sanders R, Kushel M: Transitions clinic: Creating a community-based model of health care for recently released California prisoners. Public Health Rep. 2010, 125: 171-177.PubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Morse et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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