In an effort to improve the quality of healthcare in provincial prisons, in October 2017, British Columbia (BC) transferred responsibility for this healthcare from the Ministry of Public Safety to the Ministry of Health. Data access has been approved for a study to evaluate whether this policy change improved cervical cancer screening and prenatal care for women in prison and after release.
The project is being funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is lead by Dr. Jessica Liauw, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and Perinatologist at the Provincial Health Services Authority.
The study will determine if the proportion of women who received standard of care cervical cancer screening increased after the transfer of responsibility for healthcare to the Ministry of Health compared with pre-transfer, among women who experienced imprisonment in BC.
The project team will also determine if the proportion of pregnant women who received the recommended number of prenatal care visits increased after the transfer of responsibility for healthcare to the Ministry of Health compared with pre-transfer, among women who experienced imprisonment in BC.
“We will use underlying trends in the general BC population as an additional control, and a sensitivity analysis will examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” says Dr. Liauw.
PopData will link data nine data sets from the BC Ministry of Health with data from the BC Perinatal Data Registry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and BC Corrections for the project.
The data will be presented in a peer-reviewed publication, and in a research brief that will be distributed to the BC Ministry of Health and BC Corrections. This analysis will help to inform future research on the impact of the transfer of responsibility of healthcare within correctional facilities, which could impact correctional health policy throughout Canada and internationally.