Background. Prisoner parasuicide is a major public and mental health concern worldwide and within the United Kingdom. Objectives. This study used a cross-sectional design to examine the association between a self-reported history of mental health problems and a history of parasuicide in male prisoners. Methods. A total sample of 192 convicted prisoners who were about to be released from a local category 'B' prison in the UK were approached and asked to complete the 'Toolkit for Healthcare Needs Assessment in Prisons' which contained a range of demographic, mental and physical health questions. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals) were determined using logistic regression. Results. Fifty-one prisoners participated. The unadjusted odds ratio for having a self-reported history of mental health problems and a self-reported history of parasuicide was 15.6 (95% C.I., 2.96-82.16). Following adjustment for age, living alone, homelessness, illegal drug use and alcohol problems the odds ratio was 11.32 (95% C.I., 1.80-71.13). Discussion. This study provides good evidence of an assocation between a history of mental health problems and a history of parasuicide in a group of UK male prisoners.
- mental health