The Social Research Unit at the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services was commissioned by the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service to develop and conduct a systematic search. The purpose of the search was to identify studies on the effect of and experiences with rehabilitation interventions for incarcerated women.
We conducted a systematic search for empirical studies, employing any kind of study design, in medical and social science databases. The search was conducted in November 2013. The authors independently assessed the identified references for inclusion/exclusion and discussed their assessments in pairs. We then sorted the references according to themes, interventions and some according to study design.
- We identified 6444 unique references in total. Among these we considered 204 to be relevant according to the inclusion criteria.
- Based on information presented in the titles and abstracts of the references, we identified 7 systematic reviews, 20 randomized, controlled trials and 14 qualitative studies which explored experiences with such programs.
- More than half of the included studies evaluated treatment of and therapy for mental problems/disorders and drug addiction. Many of these studies dealt with therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and Therapeutic Communities as drug treatment. In addition, there were several studies on alternative therapies to reduce stress and psychological distress. Just under 40 studies evaluated training/education-that – and just as many studies evaluated interventions aimed at mother/child - focusing on parenting skills and parent/child relationship.
We have sorted and listed all possibly relevant references, but we have neither read the papers in fulltext, critically appraised their methodological quality, nor synthesised their conclusions.