Social Theory & Health

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 75–88 | Cite as

Health-related quality of life and socioeconomic status of imprisoned middle-age and elderly persons

  • Kirill KosilovEmail author
  • Irina Kuzina
  • Liliya Kosilova
  • Yuliya Gainullina
  • Vladimir Kuznetsov
  • Marina Ivanovskaya
  • Alexandra Prokofyeva
Original Article


The purpose of the article is to study the influence of socioeconomic statuses (SES) on the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of persons imprisoned and preliminarily determine how applicable the “age-as-leveler” hypothesis and the “cumulative advantage/disadvantage” theory are to explaining this influence in the specific conditions of imprisonment. HRQoL among inmates is significantly lower than those in national populations. The influence of SES on HRQoL among inmates is described as insufficient. Over 2013–2016, 694 imprisoned men were studied. HRQoL estimation was conducted using the SF-6D questionnaire. In addition, marital status was studied, residence before imprisonment, as well as the Charlson comorbidity index. It was for the first time identified that the level of the HRQoL measures among persons imprisoned is affected by their level of education and marital status. The level of the effect of the inmate’s household income on HRQoL measures is less than in the population as a whole. The effect of SES on HRQoL among elderly persons in prison is unverifiable. With different values of the Charlson comorbidity index, a different level of HRQoL measures is noted regardless of age. A suggestion was voiced that under specific conditions of imprisonment, particularly, the hypothesis “age-as-leveler” more closely describes HRQoL measures, meanwhile “cumulative advantage/disadvantage” under the conditions of imprisonment possibly does not yield a significant effect. HRQoL of prisoners with higher education, family support, and high-quality medical care is higher than average among prisoners. Taking these factors into account, it would be useful to undertake a longitudinal study of HRQoL when changing parameters of SES.


Imprisoned Health-related quality of life Socioeconomic status Elderly Age-as-leveler 



This research was funded by the authors at their own expense.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors claim there are no conflicts of interest between them or against outside organizations.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Adler, N.E., and D.H. Rehkopf. 2008. U.S. disparities in health: Descriptions, causes, and mechanisms. Annual Review of Public Health 29: 235–252.Google Scholar
  2. Baidawi, S. 2016. Older prisoners: psychological distress and associations with mental health history, cognitive functioning, socio-demographic, and criminal justice factors. International Psychogeriatry 28 (3): 385–395.Google Scholar
  3. Belenko, S., and J. Peugh. 2005. Estimating drug treatment needs among state prison inmates. Drug Alcohol Dependence 77 (3): 269–281.Google Scholar
  4. Bishop, A., G. Randall, and M. Merten. 2014. Consideration of forgiveness to enhance the health status of older male prisoners confronting spiritual, social, or emotional vulnerability. Journal of Applied Gerontology 33 (8): 998–1017.Google Scholar
  5. Brazier, J., J. Roberts, and M. Deverill. 2002. The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36. Journal of Health Economics 21: 271–292.Google Scholar
  6. Cavallo, P., G. Savarese, and L. Carpinelli. 2014. Bruxism and health related quality of life in southern Italy’s prison inmates. Community Dental Health 31 (2): 117–122.Google Scholar
  7. Cinar, O.O., E. Tonga, A. Tekindal, and Y. Bakar. 2016. Cross-cultural adaptation, reliability and validity of the Turkish version of the Chronic Venous Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire (CIVIQ-20). SpringerPlus 5: 381. Scholar
  8. de Viggiani, N. 2007. Unhealthy prisons: Exploring structural determinants of prison health. Sociology Health Illness. 1: 115–135.Google Scholar
  9. Duhamel, A., J. Renard, M. Nuttens, P. Devos, R. Beuscart, and E. Archer. 2001. Social and health status of arrivals in a French prison: a consecutive case study from 1989 to 1995. Review Epidemiological Sante Publique 49 (3): 229–238.Google Scholar
  10. Dumont, D., B. Brockmann, S. Dickman, N. Alexander, and J. Rich. 2012. Public health and the epidemic of incarceration. Annual Review of Public Health 33: 325–339.Google Scholar
  11. Dupre, M.E. 2007. Educational differences in age-related patterns of disease: Reconsidering the cumulative disadvantage and age-as-leveler hypotheses. Journal of Health Social Behavior 48 (1): 1–15.Google Scholar
  12. Easley, C. 2011. Together we can make a difference: The case for transnational action for improved health in prisons. Public Health 125 (10): 675–679.Google Scholar
  13. Friestad, C. 2010. Socio-economic status and health in a marginalized group: The role of subjective social status among prison inmates. European Journal of Public Health 20 (6): 653–658.Google Scholar
  14. Fryback, D.G., N. Dunham, M. Palta, J. Hanmer, J. Buechner, D. Cherepanov, et al. 2007. U.S. norms for six generic health-related quality-of-life indexes from the National Health Measurement Study. Medical Care 45: 1162–1170.Google Scholar
  15. Güllü, Ö., M. Tekindal, M.A. Tekindal, and A.C. Yazıcı. 2017. Evaluation of expected and perceived of quality of service with the SERVQUAL scale: The case of a private physical therapy and rehabilitation center. Biomedical Research 28 (2): 711–715.Google Scholar
  16. Hatch, S.L. 2005. Conceptualizing and identifying cumulative adversity and protective resources: Implications for understanding health inequalities. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 60B: 130–134.Google Scholar
  17. Hays, R.D., D.A. Revicki, D. Feeny, P. Fayers, K.L. Spritzer, and D. Cella. 2016. Using Linear Equating to Map PROMIS(®) Global Health Items and the PROMIS-29V2.0 Profile Measure to the Health Utilities Index Mark 3. Pharmacoeconomics 34 (10): 1015–1022.Google Scholar
  18. Horsman, J., W. Furlong, D. Feeny, and G. Torrance. 2003. The Health Utilities Index (HUI©): Concepts, measurement properties and applications. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1: 54–66.Google Scholar
  19. Hosseini, N.Z., V.H. Molavi, F. Abolhasani, M. Hadipour, and K. Sheikhzadeh. 2013. Relative effect of socio-economic status on the health-related quality of life in type 2 diabetic patients in Iran. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome 7 (4): 187–190.Google Scholar
  20. House, J.A., P.M. Lantz, and P. Herd. 2005. Continuity and change in the social stratification of aging and health over the life course: Evidence from a nationally representative longitudinal study from 1986 to 2001/2002 (Americans’ Changing Lives Study). Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 60B: 15–26.Google Scholar
  21. Kim, J., and E. Durden. 2007. Socioeconomic status and age trajectories of health. Social Science and Medicine 65 (12): 2489–2502.Google Scholar
  22. Kind, P. 2007. Size matters: EQ-5D in transition. Medical Care 45: 809–810.Google Scholar
  23. Klein, J., K. Hofreuter-Gätgens, D. Lüdecke, M. Fisch, M. Graefen, and O. von dem Knesebeck. 2016. Socioeconomic status and health-related quality of life among patients with prostate cancer 6 months after radical prostatectomy: A longitudinal analysis. British Medical Journal Open 6 (6): e010968.Google Scholar
  24. Kleinman, N.L., K. Odell, C.I. Chen, A. Atkinson, and K.H. Zou. 2014. Persistence and adherence with urinary antispasmodic medications among employees and the impact of adherence on costs and absenteeism. Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy 20 (10): 1047–1056.Google Scholar
  25. Kosilov, K., S. Loparev, I. Kuzina, O.V. Shakirova, N.S. Zhuravskaya, and I.I. Ankudinov. 2016a. Social, economic, and medical factors associated with Solifenacin therapy compliance among workers who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms. International Neurourology Journal 20 (3): 240–249.Google Scholar
  26. Kosilov, K.V., S.A. Loparev, M.A. Ivanovskaya, and L.V. Kosilova. 2016b. Effectiveness of solifenacin and trospium for managing of severe symptoms of overactive bladder in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. American Journal of Men’s Health 10 (2): 157–163.Google Scholar
  27. Kosilov, K.V., S.A. Loparev, M.A. Ivanovskaya, and L.V. Kosilova. 2015. Additional correction of OAB symptoms by two anti-muscarinics for men over 50 years old with residual symptoms of moderate prostatic obstruction after treatment with Tamsulosin. The Aging Male 18: 44–48.Google Scholar
  28. Kosilov, K.V., S.A. Loparev, M.A. Ivanovskaya, and L.V. Kosilova. 2014. Decrease of risk of developing symptoms of OAB in elderly men and women treated with loop diuretic for hypertensive disease using solifenacin. Current Aging Science 8: 229–234.Google Scholar
  29. Krause, L., U. Ellert, L.E. Kroll, and T. Lampert. 2014. Health-related quality of life of overweight and obese adolescents: What differences can be seen by socio-economic status and education? Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 57 (4): 445–454.Google Scholar
  30. La Torre, G., L. Miele, G. Chiaradia, A. Mannocci, M. Reali, G. Gasbarrini, et al. 2007. Socio-demographic determinants of coinfections by HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in central Italian prisoners. BMC Infections Disease 7: 100.Google Scholar
  31. Lai, S., W. Chang, and K. Liao. 2008. Assessment of health status among incarcerated men. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 335 (6): 465–468.Google Scholar
  32. Lauderdale, D.S. 2001. Education and survival: Birth cohort, period, and age effects. Demography 38: 551–561.Google Scholar
  33. Lynch, S.M. 2006. Explaining life course and cohort variation in the relationship between education and health: The role of income. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 47: 324–338.Google Scholar
  34. Mannocci, A., D. Masala, D. Mipatrini, J. Rizzo, S. Meggiolaro, D. Thiene, and G. Torre. 2015. The relationship between physical activity and quality of life in prisoners: a pilot study. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene 56 (4): E172–E175.Google Scholar
  35. Martin, L.G., R.F. Schoeni, V.A. Freedman, and P. Andreski. 2007. Feeling better? Trends in general health status. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 62: S11–S21.Google Scholar
  36. Penson, D.F., M.L. Stoddard, D.J. Pasta, D.P. Lubeck, S.C. Flanders, and M.S. Litwin. 2001. The association between socioeconomic status, health insurance coverage, and quality of life in men with prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 54 (4): 350–358.Google Scholar
  37. Robert, A.S., D. Cherepanov, M. Palta, N.C. Dunham, D. Feeny, and D.G. Fryback. 2009. Socioeconomic status and age variations in health-related quality of life: results from the national health measurement study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological 64B (3): 378–389.Google Scholar
  38. Thein, H., T. Butler, M. Krahn, W. Rawlinson, M. Levy, J. Kaldor, et al. 2006. The effect of hepatitis C virus infection on health-related quality of life in prisoners. Journal of Urban Health 83 (2): 275–288.Google Scholar
  39. Togas, C., M. Raikou, and D. Niakas. 2014. An assessment of health related quality of life in a male prison population in Greece associations with health related characteristics and characteristics of detention. BioMed Research International. Scholar
  40. van Dongen-Leunis, A., W.K. Redekop, and C.A. Uyl-de-Groot. 2016. Which questionnaire should be used to measure quality-of-life utilities in patients with acute leukemia? An evaluation of the validity and interpretability of the EQ-5D-5L and preference-based questionnaires derived from the EORTC QLQ-C30. Value Health 19 (6): 834–843.Google Scholar
  41. Wangmo, T., A. Meyer, W. Bretschneider, V. Handtke, R. Kressig, B. Gravier, et al. 2015. Ageing prisoners’ disease burden: is being old a better predictor than time served in prison? Gerontology 61 (2): 116–123.Google Scholar
  42. Wyrwich, K.W., M. Bullinger, N. Aaronson, R.D. Hays, D.L. Patrick, and T. Symonds. 2005. The clinical significance consensus meeting group estimating clinically significant differences in quality of life outcomes. Quality of Life Research 14: 285–295.Google Scholar
  43. Yiengprugsawan, V., E. Seubsman, and A. Sleigh. 2012. Thai Cohort Study Team Health, well-being, and social indicators among monks, prisoners, and other adult members of an Open University Cohort in Thailand. Journal of Religion and Health 51 (3): 925–933.Google Scholar
  44. Yu, S., H. Sung, J. Mellow, and C. Koenigsmann. 2015. Self-perceived health improvements among prison inmates. Journal of Correctional Health Care 21 (1): 59–69.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirill Kosilov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Irina Kuzina
    • 1
  • Liliya Kosilova
    • 3
  • Yuliya Gainullina
    • 1
  • Vladimir Kuznetsov
    • 2
  • Marina Ivanovskaya
    • 4
  • Alexandra Prokofyeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Sciences, School of HumanitiesFar Eastern Federal UniversityVladivostokRussian Federation
  2. 2.Department of Public Health of the Pacific State Medical UniversityVladivostokRussian Federation
  3. 3.Department of Functional DiagnosticsMed. Association No 2 of Vladivostok-sityVladivostokRussian Federation
  4. 4.Department of LawFar Eastern Fisheries UniversityVladivostokRussian Federation

Personalised recommendations