Characteristics of Prison Hospice Patients: Medical History, Hospice Care, and End-of-Life Symptom Prevalenceedit
Increasing numbers of prisoners in the United States are dying from age-related and chronic illnesses while incarcerated. This study is among the first to document characteristics of a population of prison hospice patients. Retrospective review of medical records for all patients admitted to the Louisiana State Penitentiary prison hospice program between January 1, 2004, and May 31, 2012 (N = 79) examined demographics, medical history, hospice diagnosis, length of stay, and end-of-life symptom prevalence on admission and during final 72 hours before death. Resulting data were contrasted with community-based end-of-life care study data, demonstrating a unique clinical profile of this group. As prisons consider adopting programs to meet the growing need for inmate end-of-life care, more research concerning the particular characteristics and unique needs of prison hospice patients will inform these efforts.