Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health

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Volume 10 Issue 2 (June 2000), Pages 73-148

The Lancashire Quality of Life Profile: data and experiences with 58 detained mentally disordered offenders (pages 123-135)



This study evaluates the quality of life (QOL) of a group of detained mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) from high‐ and medium‐security institutions using the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile (LQOLP). It was predicted that they would show a poorer QOL on the LQOLP when compared with published data on patients using general psychiatric services.


A cross‐sectional study was undertaken using a clinician administered questionnaire.


The LQOLP was conducted with 58 detained forensic patients: 19 regional secure unit (RSU) patients, 20 high‐security recently admitted patients, and 19 high‐security pre‐discharge patients.


Contrary to predictions, it was found that there was no significant difference in overall QOL (measured using the LQOLP) between detained forensic patients and published LQOLP data on psychiatric outpatients in general services. Nor was there a difference observed between these two groups on several major life domains. However, there were several domains in which detained patients had significantly worse QOL ratings; these included: living situation (including living arrangements, independence, control and privacy); legal and safety; and health. It was also found that detained patients rated their social relations as significantly better than their non‐detained counterparts.


The LQOLP is a viable instrument to use for evaluating the QOL of detained MDOs. QOL is an important outcome to measure in addition to the usual evaluation of symptoms and patient satisfaction. For detained forensic patients QOL assessment may represent the only way of measuring the totality of their experience in secure environments. QOL data may be used to compare service provision and to help guide the development and improvement of patient care. Future work may involve forensic outpatient and prison populations. Copyright © 2000 Whurr Publishers Ltd.

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