Background: The percentage of incarcerated individuals in the United States is currently close to an all time high, and more stressful places than prisons are hard to find. Because registered nurses and advance practice nurses are often the only healthcare providers readily available to prison inmates, nurses need a repertoire of effective strategies to minimize prisoners' stress-related symptoms and behaviors. Purpose: The purpose of this critical literature review was to identify the state of knowledge about using stress management techniques (SMTs) in the prison setting for reducing psychological problems and/or behavioral problems in male and female adult prison populations. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic integrated literature search was performed using multiple relevant databases to identify studies using various SMTs for incarcerated adults. Findings: Although clinical practice recommendations for the use of SMTs in the prison setting cannot be made with strong certainty, nurses working in the prison setting should continue to incorporate muscle relaxation, TranscendentalMeditation, and certain Eastern meditative practices in the care of their clients because of the safety and possible positive impacts and practicality these methods have in this setting.
- Stress management techniques