Currently submitted to: JMIR Research Protocols
Date Submitted: Aug 30, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Aug 30, 2020 - Oct 25, 2020
(currently open for review)
Protocol of the Swiss Prison Study (SWIPS): a large-scale public health registry in north-eastern Switzerland
Health aspects, disease frequencies, and specific health interests of prisoners and refugees are poorly understood. Importantly, access to the healthcare system is limited for this vulnerable population.
Currently, there has been no systematic investigation to understand the health issues of inmates in Switzerland. Furthermore, little is known on how recent migration flows in Europe may have impacted the health conditions of inmates in recent years. We therefore planned a large-scale observational study to establish a public health registry in northern-central Switzerland.
Demographic and health-related data, such as age, sex, country of origin, duration of imprisonment, medication (including the drug name, brand, dosage, and release), medical history (including the ICD codes for all diagnoses and external results that are part of the medical history in the prison) will be deposited in a central register over a span of five years (April 2015 to April 2020). The final cohort is expected to comprise approximately 50,000 to 60,000 prisoners from the Police Prison Zurich (PPZ), Switzerland. The primary objective is to establish a central database to assess disease prevalence (i.e., ICD codes) among prisoners. The secondary objectives include the following: (1) to compare the 2015 to 2020 disease prevalence among inmates against a representative sample from the local resident population; (2) to assess longitudinal changes in disease prevalence from 2015 to 2020 using cross-sectional medical records from all inmates at the PPZ; and (3) to identify unrecognized health problems to prepare successful public health strategies.
The study will be conducted with the highest respect for individual participants according to the Declaration of Helsinki, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Swiss Federal Act on Research involving Human Beings (HRA), and according to this study protocol. This study will construct a valuable database of health-related information regarding inmates and refugees and will act as a groundwork for future interventions in this population. Findings will be disseminated through scientific articles as well as presentations and public events.
None Clinical Trial: ISRCTN registry (www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN11714665)
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