Nursing Studies

Defining priorities for prison health research in Scotland: a Delphi study

This study is utilising the Delphi technique to ascertain what academics, practitioners and service users perceive the key research priorities for prison health in Scotland to be.

Improving health in the prison population and improving the prison healthcare system in Scotland has become increasingly prioritised by the Scottish Government. In 2011, the responsibility for provision of prison healthcare transferred from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to the NHS. However, a 2016 report from the Royal College of Nursing and a 2017 Scottish Parliamentary Health and Sport Committee (SPHSC) Inquiry identified many areas in which the system needs to be improved. The Scottish Government has since the Inquiry set out to respond and have identified four key areas in which the system needs to be improved are: i) governance and leadership, ii) outcomes and performance, iii) health and social care integration, and iv) IT. Empirical evidence to inform policy and service changes is key and aligning academic research with these priorities is therefore needed.

The survey is conducted in two rounds. In the first round, participants are asked to list ten priorities for research which is analysed and summarised into categories. In the second round, participants are presented with the list of categories of themes identified in the first round and asked to indicate how important they believe each topic is. Analysis of the second round will be conducted to explore level of agreement for each area to indicate consensus on what the research priorities for the next 15 years should be in Scotland. 


ESRC IAA Impact Booster Grant

Project team

Professor Aisha Holloway

Dr Lisa Schölin

Dr Iris Ho

Dr Suzanne O’Rourke

Professor Matthias Schwannauer

Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch

Professor Stuart Kinner

Dr Fiona Kouyoumdjian