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Chronic psychotic disorders and correctional involvement: a population-based matched case-control study in Ontario, Canada


Objective — Individuals with chronic psychotic disorders are overrepresented in correctional facilities, but little is known about factors that increase the risk of correctional involvement. The objective of this study was to compare individuals with chronic psychotic disorders who were released from correctional facilities in Ontario to individuals with chronic psychotic disorders but no correctional involvement on sociodemographic, clinical, and prior mental health-related health service utilization characteristics.

Method — All individuals with chronic psychotic disorders who were released from a provincial correctional facility in Ontario in 2010 were matched (1:2) by age and sex to Ontario residents with chronic psychotic disorders and no correctional involvement. Covariates included sociodemographic (rural residence, marginalization such as residential instability quintile, material deprivation quintile, dependency quintile, and ethnic concentration quintile) and clinical (duration of chronic psychotic disorder and comorbidities) characteristics, and mental health-related health service utilization characteristics (primary care physician, psychiatrist and emergency department visits, and hospitalizations) 1 and 3 years prior to correctional involvement. The association between correctional involvement and prior health service utilization was measured by estimating incidence rate ratios using Poisson and negative-binomial regressions.

Results — Individuals with correctional involvement (N = 3,197) lived in neighbourhoods with higher material deprivation and residential instability, and had a shorter duration of illness, and more psychosocial comorbidities (e.g., behavioural issues and depression) than individuals without correctional involvement (N = 6,393). Adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical variables, individuals with correctional involvement had a higher rate of mental health-related primary care physician visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations but a lower rate of psychiatrist visits prior to correctional involvement, compared to individuals without correctional involvement.

Conclusions — Despite higher mental health-related comorbidities and higher rates of accessing acute mental health services among individuals with chronic psychotic disorders and correctional involvement, visits to psychiatrists prior to involvement were low.



Vijh R, Kouyoumdjian FG, Iwajomo T, Simpson AIF, Jones R, de Oliveira C, Kurdyak P. Can J Psychiatry. 2023; Jul 28 [Epub ahead of print].

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