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Many male prisoners have significant mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. High proportions struggle with homelessness and substance misuse.
This study aims to evaluate whether the Engager intervention improves mental health outcomes following release.
The design is a parallel randomised superiority trial that was conducted in the North West and South West of England (ISRCTN11707331). Men serving a prison sentence of 2 years or less were individually allocated 1:1 to either the intervention (Engager plus usual care) or usual care alone. Engager included psychological and practical support in prison, on release and for 3–5 months in the community. The primary outcome was the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), 6 months after release. Primary analysis compared groups based on intention-to-treat (ITT).
In total, 280 men were randomised out of the 396 who were potentially eligible and agreed to participate; 105 did not meet the mental health inclusion criteria. There was no mean difference in the ITT complete case analysis between groups (92 in each arm) for change in the CORE-OM score (1.1, 95% CI –1.1 to 3.2, P = 0.325) or secondary analyses. There were no consistent clinically significant between-group differences for secondary outcomes. Full delivery was not achieved, with 77% (108/140) receiving community-based contact.
Engager is the first trial of a collaborative care intervention adapted for prison leavers. The intervention was not shown to be effective using standard outcome measures. Further testing of different support strategies for prison with mental health problems is needed.
Previous studies of borderline personality disorder report neuropsychological impairments in several domains, including memory. No studies have compared memory functioning in high-risk prisoners with borderline personality disorder with similar prisoners with other personality disorders.
To explore mnemonic impairments in prisoners undergoing personality assessment as part of the dangerous and severe personality disorder initiative or detained in a medium secure facility.
We investigated memory function in 18 prisoners with borderline personality disorder and 18 prisoners with other personality disorders.
Prisoners with borderline personality disorder exhibited a pattern of multi-modal impairments in the immediate and delayed recall of verbal and visual information, with some association with affective instability. These deficits were not associated with the severity of personality disturbance.
These data suggest that memory deficits have some specificity in relation to the constituent traits of borderline personality disorder and indicate that neuropsychological assessment may be a source of useful adjunctive information for distinguishing between the cognitive and psychological difficulties of individual prisoners.
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