E-Training to Enhance the Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners

E-Training to Enhance the Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners

The health care needs of aged, chronically ill, and dying inmates in correctional settings face growing demands. The Enhancing Care for the Aged and Dying in Prisons (ECAD-P) research team published insights from a geriatric care learning program for corrections staff as an abstract for the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. The ECAD-P research team is led by Dr. Susan Loeb from Penn State University and Dr. Valerie Myers from Klein Buendel. They would have presented the work at the 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Francisco, had the conference been held as planned.

The number of older inmates in the United States continues to grow and best practices for managing geriatric issues and end-of-life (EOL) care have not been adapted for use in corrections settings. In response, ECAD-P team has developed a computer-based learning program for corrections staff comprised of six modules that address EOL and geriatric care concerns in prisons.

After conducting two rounds of usability testing at two prisons in different states, the ECAD-P program entered full-scale testing at seven state prisons. A total of 241 individuals consented to participate and 173 individuals completed all training modules and posttests. Outcomes revealed that the ECAD-P training program was acceptable, feasible, and usable in the corrections staff setting. The research team also found that corrections staff improved their knowledge of geriatric and EOL care of inmates overall after completing the training.

This research was funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (AG049570; Dr. Susan Loeb and Dr. Valerie Myers, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators and co-authors on this abstract also include Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis from Penn State University; Dr. Rachel Wion from the Indiana University School of Nursing (formerly Penn State University); Julie Murphy from the King’s College Nursing Program; and Tiffany Jerrod, formerly of Klein Buendel.

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