Pregnant women in prison: Mental health and admission to prison MBUs

Full title Pregnant women in prison: Mental health and admission to prison mother and baby units and initial outcomes for mother and child
Research type Research study
IRAS ID 163979
Contact Name Rachel Dolan
Contact Email rachel.dolan@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk
Sponsor organisation University of Manchester
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Clinicaltrials.gov identifier
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Research summary There are 6 mother and baby unit (MBU) places in prisons in England and approximately 200 babies are born to women in prison each year but only a small proportion apply for a place despite evidence to suggest positive benefits for mothers and children, and the only alternative being separation. Little is known about the mental health and wellbeing of pregnant women in prison. Previous research suggests mental disorder and substance misuse may impact on the decision to apply or be offered a place in a prison MBU, and that this may be a positive and supportive environment. However little is known about the factors that affect a woman’s decision and the impacts upon maternal health and wellbeing and outcomes for mother and child. This study aims to identify the reasons women do and do not apply for an MBU place when pregnant in prison and the factors that influence the decision to allow a mother a place on an MBU, including mental health and the initial health and wellbeing of mother and child. 100-150 pregnant women in prison will be recruited and a mixed methods approach adopted. Quantitative measures will establish prevalence of mental disorder, personality disorder, substance misuse, and to measure changes in depression and quality of life pre and postnatally. Qualitative interviews will document the women’s experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood and mental disorder in prison. It is hypothesised that women with treatable mental disorders are being excluded/excluding themselves from prison MBUs and that maternal outcomes and quality of life will be better in those in MBUs than those who are separated from their babies while in prison. Prison staff will participate in focus groups to discuss the MBU application process and the factors that may influence the decision.
REC Name North East - York Research Ethics Committee
REC Reference 14/NE/1158
REC Opinion

Further Information Favourable Opinion

Further Information Favourable Opinion

Date of REC Opinion 22 October 2014