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Title: Recidivism, health and social functioning following release to the community of NSW prisoners with problematic drug use: Study protocol of the population-based retrospective cohort study on the evaluation of the Connections Program
Contributor(s): Sullivan, Elizabeth (author); Ward, Stephen (author); Zeki, Reem (author); Wayland, Sarah  (author)orcid ; Sherwood, Juanita (author); Wang, Alex (author); Worner, Faye (author); Kendall, Sacha (author); Brown, James (author); Chang, Sungwon (author)
Publication Date: 2019-07-24
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030546
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Introduction The rising rate of incarceration in Australia, driven by high reoffending, is a major public health problem. Problematic drug use is associated with increasing rates of reoffending and return to custody of individuals. Throughcare provides support to individuals during imprisonment through to post-release, improving both the transition to community and health outcomes post-incarceration. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Connections Programme (CP) that utilises a throughcare approach for release planning of people in prison with a history of problematic drug use. The study protocol is described.
Methods and analysis Population-based retrospective cohort study. The study will use record linkage of the Connections dataset with 10 other New South Wales (NSW) population datasets on offending, health service utilisation, opioid substitution therapy, pregnancy, birth and mortality. The study includes all patients who were eligible to participate in the CP between January 2008 and December 2015 stratified by patients who were offered CP and eligible patients who were not offered the programme (non-CP (NCP)). Propensity-score matching will be used to appropriately adjust for the observable differences between CP and NCP. The differences between two groups will be examined using appropriate univariate and multivariate analyses. A generalised estimating equation approach, which can deal with repeat outcomes for individuals will be used to examine recidivism, mortality and other health outcomes, including perinatal and infant outcomes. Survival analysis techniques will be used to examine the effect of the CP by sex and Indigenous status on the ‘time-to’ health-related outcomes after adjusting for potential confounders.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: NHMRC/APP1109009
Source of Publication: BMJ Open, 9(7), p. 1-8
Publisher: BMJ Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2044-6055
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 440903 Social program evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community service programs
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health

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