JAMA Surgery Article Highlights Lack of Research on Surgical Care in Corrections

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Posted Apr 18, 2018

The latest online issue of JAMA Surgery features the commentary piece "Lack of Information on Surgical Care for Incarcerated Persons," which highlights the lack of research on surgical disease in U.S. correcitonal facilities. The authors point out that data collected by individual correctional facilities or state systems are often unavailable publicly. In addition, while the Bureau of Justice Statistics intermittently surveys a sample population in state and federal correctional facilities to assess their health problems, the most recent version of the survey had only one question addressing surgical care.

"As surgeons, we have cared for incarcerated patients in a variety of settings. In the absence of robust literature, we have had to rely on our experiences in developing our practice," note authors Sara Scarlet, MD, Anthony A. Meyer, MD, and Elizabeth B. Dreesen, MD.

The authors urge the surgical community to embrace the research and collaboration necessary to ensure health equity for incarcerated individuals.

Read the full commentary »