OBJECTIVE: To compare the health of Queensland women prisoners with that of community women using the target areas of public health promotion identified by Health Determinants Queensland as a framework. METHODS: Data from the Queensland Women Prisoners' Health Survey was compared with published community data in each of the target areas. RESULTS: Queensland women prisoners had poorer nutrition, did less exercise, had higher rates of smoking and had a greater prevalence of asthma and diabetes than women in the community. They seemed to have a greater prevalence of mental health disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Within the framework, women prisoners had significantly poorer measured outcomes than community women in all areas except cervical screening, breast cancer screening and overweight and obesity. IMPLICATIONS: The Health Determinants Queensland target areas for Queensland women are of even greater priority in the subgroup of women prisoners. Benefits for the health of prisoners, and therefore the community, could be gained by expanding existing community health promotion activities to prisons through collaboration and partnerships.
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