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Health Problems in a City-County Workhouse

NCJ Number
Public Health Reports Volume: 93 Issue: 4 Dated: (July-August 1978) Pages: 379-385
R A Derro
Date Published
7 pages
A study conducted for the purpose of defining the health profile of a Minnesota city-county workhouse inmate population between August 1974 and August 1975 is presented.
In an effort to supplement data previously obtained on the health status of inmates upon admission, all subsequent encounters for medical problems were recorded and analyzed. Of the 491 inmates examined upon admission, 312 subsequently made 1,257 visits to the onsite clinic facility for medical care. The rate of clinic use was two to three times higher than rates reported in national surveys. Of 1,549 problem encounters, trauma, musculoskeletal complaints, skin disorders, and diseases of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat accounted for 52.3 percent. Dental disease, trauma, and other musculoskeletal disorders composed 66.3 percent of problems that required referral of patients to the local hospital. A significant relationship was seen between depression as determined by a self-rating questionnaire and numbers of visits and problem encounters. Study results have implications for correctional institutions with similar inmate populations, i.e., male inmates sentenced to minimum security facilities who are predominantly white urban residents. The provision of onsite dental services is advisable. Athletic activities and work details should be closely supervised. Physicians and nurses should be skilled in the evaluation and management of minor trauma and other musculoskeletal disorders. Algorithms are appropriate aids in the management of common but minor medical problems. A total of 19 references, tables, and charts are provided in the article. (Author abstract modified)


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