Dr. Stacy Christensen, a nursing professor at the Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT, talks about her work with incarcerated women in the Connecticut State Prison System and her article about the application of Leininger’s theory of Culture Care in the correctional setting. Enhancing Nurses’ Ability to Care Within the Culture of Incarceration” was published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Transcultural Nursing.
In this episode she explains the key elements of Leininger’s theory of Culture Care and how incarceration can be thought of as a culture. The incarcerated patient population has a common language, customs, and rituals. Leininger defined culture as the learned, shared, and transmitted values, beliefs, norms, and lifeways of a group. Correctional nurses need to be culturally aware to effectively deliver care in this setting.
Findings from a meta-analysis of more than 20 published studies indicate that coffee consumption is inversely associated with all causes of mortality. Best mortality figures were for those drinking 4 cups per day. They also found no association between coffee consumption and cancer mortality. Although past studies indicated a concern for caffeine related to increased blood pressure, insulin resistance, and elevated lipids, habitual coffee consumption results in a tolerance for the acute effects of caffeine. Researchers aren’t sure what components of coffee are beneficial but indicate that coffee is a major source of antioxidants, which could be part of the positive effect. In addition to reduced mortality, coffee consumption was linked to reduced risk of suicide, Parkinson’s disease, and gallstones.
The CDC has published data on Increases in heroin overdose deaths between 2010 and 2012 in the latest issue of the MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. There has been an alarming rise of heroin overdose deaths in the last two years – more than double. Deaths have increased across gender, age, ethinic groups, and geographic region – although the increase is more significant in the northeast and south regions. In a related news story, the study’s co-author Dr. Len Paulozzi, a medical epidemiologist at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said that the over-prescribing of narcotic painkillers (such as Oxycontin and Vicodin), which has been going on for 20 years, is responsible for the increase in heroin use and overdoses. He continues by commenting that solving the problem of deaths from heroin overdose begins with stopping the addiction to narcotic painkillers. Dr. Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, is also quoted in the news item as saying that there is very little difference between heroin and Oxycontin or Vicodin and that the medical community has to prescribe more cautiously.
Do you think a theory of cultural care would work in correctional nursing? What do you think about the positive effects of coffee? Have you seen an increase in heroin addiction in your patient population? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section of this post.