Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Defining avoidable healthcare-associated harm in prisons: a mixed-method development study

Keers, Richard N., Wainwright, Verity, McFadzean, Joy, Davies, Kate ORCID:, Campbell, Stephen M., Stevenson, Caroline, Purchase, Thomas ORCID:, Shaw, Jennifer and Carson-Stevens, Andrew ORCID: 2023. Defining avoidable healthcare-associated harm in prisons: a mixed-method development study. PLoS ONE 18 (3) , e0282021. 10.1371/journal.pone.0282021

[thumbnail of journal.pone.0282021.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (645kB) | Preview


Background Reducing avoidable healthcare-associated harm is a global health priority. Progress in evaluating the burden and aetiology of avoidable harm in prisons is limited compared with other healthcare sectors. To address this gap, this study aimed to develop a definition of avoidable harm to facilitate future epidemiological studies in prisons. Methods Using a sequential mixed methods study design we first characterised and reached consensus on the types and avoidability of patient harm in prison healthcare involving analysis of 151 serious prison incidents reported to the Strategic Executive Information System (StEIS) followed by in-depth nominal group (NG) discussions with four former service users and four prison professionals. Findings of the NG discussions and StEIS analysis were then synthesised and discussed among the research team and study oversight groups to develop an operational definition of avoidable harm in prison healthcare which was subsequently tested and validated using prison patient safety incident report data derived from the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). Results Analysis of StEIS incident reports and NG discussions identified important factors influencing avoidable harm which reflected the unique prison setting, including health care delivery issues and constraints associated with the secure environment which limited access to care. These findings informed the development of a new working two-tier definition of avoidable harm using appropriate and timely intervention, which included an additional assessment of harm avoidability taking into the account the prison regime and environment. The definition was compatible with the NRLS incident report narratives and illustrated how the prison environment may influence identification of avoidable harm and judgements of avoidability. Conclusions We have developed a working definition of avoidable harm in prison health care that enables consideration of caveats associated with prison environments and systems. Our definition enables future studies of the safety of prison healthcare to standardise outcome measurement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 6 February 2023
Last Modified: 27 May 2023 16:57

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics