Title

Moving and thinking behind bars: the effectiveness of an exercise and health education program on psychological distress of incarcerated people with, or at risk of developing, a chronic illness

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cashin, AJ, Potter, E, Stevens, W, Davidson, K & Muldoon, D 2008, 'Moving and thinking behind bars: the effectiveness of an exercise and health education program on psychological distress of incarcerated people with, or at risk of developing, a chronic illness', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 9-16.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY08002

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Rates of chronic illness within the New South Wales, Australia, prison population are alarmingly high. Population approaches to health care and community development pose some unique challenges in the context of prisons. These challenges are discussed in the context of the report on the results of a small pilot randomised control trial conducted within one New South Wales prison that investigated the effect of a 12-week exercise and health education program on male inmates' psychological distress. The exercise program targeted individuals with a chronic illness, those who had two or more risk factors for developing a chronic illness and/or inmates over 40 years of age. The psychological distress of the inmate participants was measured weekly using a modified Kessler 10 tool. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups pre- or post- the exercise program. There was also no significant correlation between total psychological distress and participating or not participating in the exercise. A further study, with a larger sample size and different tool, is recommended.