Prisoner perspectives on managing long term conditions: A qualitative study

Wendy Macdonald, Claire Gately, Andrew Bowen, Anne Kennedy, Wendy MacDonald, Anne Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the perceptions of prisoners to the barriers and opportunities for managing long term conditions in a prison setting. A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted with prisoners from two local prisons in England. All the prisoners involved in the study had a long term condition and were attending an Expert Patients Programme (EPP) course, a lay-led self care programme. A number of themes emerge from the data in relation to the impact prison has had on lifestyle and control of long term conditions. The structured prison regime allowed some to regain control over previously chaotic lifestyles but the lack of access to a healthy diet and exercise facilities as well as lack of opportunities to practice new health behaviours learnt whilst in prison, prevented a healthier lifestyle being adopted. Another main theme was in relation to the ability of prisoners to negotiate access to health care services and professionals. The study found a number of pre-existing factors which would need to be addressed if prisoners were to become fully engaged in future health initiatives, such as EPP. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Prisoner Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Long term conditions
  • Prison health
  • Self care


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