Older persons with dementia in prison: an integrative review

Shelley Peacock, Meridith Burles, Alexandra Hodson, Maha Kumaran, Rhoda MacRae, Cindy Peternelj-Taylor, Lorraine Holtslander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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The number of prisoners over 55 years is increasing and many are at risk of developing dementia. This has generated new responsibilities for prisons to provide health and social care for older persons. The aim of this paper is to synthesize the existing research literature regarding the phenomenon of the health and social care needs of older persons living with dementia in correctional settings.

Using an integrative review method based on Whittemore and Knafl, the inclusion criteria for the review are: (a) articles written in English; (b) a focus on some form of dementia and/or older persons with discussion of dementia; (c) to be set in a correctional context (correctional facility, prison, jail); (d) be derived from a published peer-reviewed journal or unpublished dissertation/thesis; and (e) be a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods study. based on those criteria a search strategy was developed and executed by a health sciences librarian in the following databases: Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsychINFO, Proquest Nursing and Allied Health, and Web of Science; searches were completed of up to April 2019. After data were extracted from included studies, synthesis of findings involved an iterative process where thematic analysis was facilitated by Braun and Clarke's approach.

FindingsEight studies met the inclusion criteria. Key fingins of the eight studies include (a) recognition of dementia as a concern for correctional populations, (b) dementia-related screening and programming for older persons, and (c) recommendations for improved screening and care practices. Most significant is the paucity of research available on this topic. Implications for research are discussed.
ValueThis paper identified and synthesizes the limited existing international research on the health and social care needs of older persons with dementia living in correctional settings. Although existing research is scant, this review highlights the need for increased awareness of dementia as a concern among older persons living in correctional settings. As well, the review findings emphasize that enhanced screening and interventions, particularly tailored approaches, are imperative to support those living with dementia in correctional settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Prisoner Health
Issue number1
Early online date7 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019


  • Social care
  • Prison
  • Dementia
  • Health care
  • Older adults
  • Integrative review


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