The Health Education Needs of Incarcerated Women

Article Summary

The second article evaluated the health education needs of incarcerated women. The main research problem was the absence of adequate programs to offer health education for women behind bars despite their growing numbers. Consequently, the purpose of the research was to assess the existing need for healthcare education in the population of women in the penal system (Dinkel & Schmidt, 2014, p. 229). The researchers hypothesized that there was a large gap in the provision of health information for incarcerated women in the state prison system. In the qualitative study, the researchers assessed the differences between two groups of women housed in maximum and medium security (Dinkel & Schmidt, 2014, p. 229). They concluded that educating incarcerated women requires the crucial concepts of trust, empowerment, and respect.

Significance to Nursing

There are thousands of women in the penal system around the world. Consequently, the research is significant to nursing because it established that this large population is underserved in health education matters. Health care providers and the federal government need to ensure that incarcerated women receive basic health education as part of their rights. This group has a host of health problems including the challenge of drug use and parenthood. Counseling is one of the areas that any program offering health education to these women should focus on (Dinkel & Schmidt, 2014, p. 229). The relevance of the article also includes the creation of policies and practices that aim to reduce recidivism in the incarcerated women population. In addition, health care professionals have the role of providing health education to populations that are not easily accessible.


Dinkel, S., & Schmidt, K. (2014). Health Education Needs of Incarcerated Women. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 46(4), 229-234.

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