An exploratory study of women prisoners’ attitudes towards their self-harm and the use of medical skin camouflage

Kerry Gutteridge, Brendan Dunlop, Megan Patterson, Heather Mitchell, Jennifer Philbin, Tammi Walker, Sandeep Ranote, Louise Robinson, Kathryn Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Self-harm is a growing problem in UK prisons with women self-harming more than men. Self-harm can leave permanent scarring. Research on scarring suggests that living with scars can lead to psychological difficulties; however, there is little research on the specific effects of self-harm scars. Medical skin camouflage (MSC) can be used to cover numerous skin conditions. The use of MSC for women in prison with self-harm scars has not been examined previously. A focus group involving 10 women prisoners aimed to (1) explore feelings about self-harm scars, (2) examine effects that scars have on life in prison and (3) examine thoughts on using MSC in prison. This group formed part of a larger project designed to test the feasibility and acceptability of MSC for women who self-harm in prison. A topic guide was created with two service user researchers with experience of self-harm in prison. The results have been divided into three themes: (1) feelings about self-harm scars, (2) covering self-harm scars and (3) attitudes towards MSC. Our findings indicate that women in prison tend to feel embarrassed and self-conscious about their scars, and the presence of scars affects their relationships within prison. The women were enthusiastic about MSC, suggesting that it has the potential to affect women’s well-being and ability to engage with others.
LanguageEnglish
Pages167-184
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019

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Gutteridge, Kerry ; Dunlop, Brendan ; Patterson, Megan ; Mitchell, Heather ; Philbin, Jennifer ; Walker, Tammi ; Ranote, Sandeep ; Robinson, Louise ; Abel, Kathryn. / An exploratory study of women prisoners’ attitudes towards their self-harm and the use of medical skin camouflage. In: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. 2019 ; Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 167-184.
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Gutteridge, K, Dunlop, B, Patterson, M, Mitchell, H, Philbin, J, Walker, T, Ranote, S, Robinson, L & Abel, K 2019, 'An exploratory study of women prisoners’ attitudes towards their self-harm and the use of medical skin camouflage', Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 167-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2018.1530285

An exploratory study of women prisoners’ attitudes towards their self-harm and the use of medical skin camouflage. / Gutteridge, Kerry; Dunlop, Brendan; Patterson, Megan; Mitchell, Heather; Philbin, Jennifer; Walker, Tammi; Ranote, Sandeep; Robinson, Louise; Abel, Kathryn.

In: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Vol. 30, No. 1, 02.01.2019, p. 167-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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