Personal Health Libraries for People Returning From Incarceration: Protocol for a Qualitative Study
JMIR research protocols
carceral settings; personal health information technology; qualitative research; systemic oppression; transition from incarceration
BACKGROUND: Individuals released from carceral facilities have high rates of hospitalization and death, especially in the weeks immediately after their return to community settings. During this transitional process, individuals leaving incarceration are expected to engage with multiple providers working in separate, complex systems, including health care clinics, social service agencies, community-based organizations, and probation and parole services. This navigation is often complicated by individuals' physical and mental health, literacy and fluency, and socioeconomic status. Personal health information technology, which can help people access and organize their health information, could improve the transition from carceral systems to the community and mitigate health risks upon release. Yet, personal health information technologies have not been designed to meet the needs and preferences of this population nor tested for acceptability or use. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study is to develop a mobile app to create personal health libraries for individuals returning from incarceration to help bridge the transition from carceral settings to community living. METHODS: Participants were recruited through Transitions Clinic Network clinic encounters and professional networking with justice-involved organizations. We used qualitative research methods to assess the facilitators and barriers to developing and using personal health information technology for individuals returning from incarceration. We conducted individual interviews with people just released from carceral facilities (n=~20) and providers (n=~10) from the local community and carceral facilities involved with the transition for returning community members. We used rigorous rapid qualitative analysis to generate thematic output characterizing the unique circumstances impacting the development and use of personal health information technology for individuals returning from incarceration and to identify content and features for the mobile app based on the preferences and needs of our participants. RESULTS: As of February 2023, we have completed 27 qualitative interviews with individuals recently released from carceral systems (n=20) and stakeholders (n=7) who support justice-involved individuals from various organizations in the community. CONCLUSIONS: We anticipate that the study will characterize the experiences of people transitioning from prison and jails to community settings; describe the information, technology resources, and needs upon reentry to the community; and create potential pathways for fostering engagement with personal health information technology. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/44748.
Foumakoye, Marisol; Britton, Meredith Campbell; Ansari, Emile; Saunders, Monya; McCall, Terika; Wang, Emily A.; Puglisi, Lisa B.; Workman, T Elizabeth; Zeng-Treitler, Qing; Ying, Yin; Shavit, Shira; Brandt, Cynthia A.; and Wang, Karen H., "Personal Health Libraries for People Returning From Incarceration: Protocol for a Qualitative Study" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 2951.
Clinical Research and Leadership