Publication Details

Cortie, C., Byrne, M., Collier, C., Parletta, N., Crawford, D., Winberg, P., Webster, D., Chapman, K., Thomas, G., Dally, J., Batterham, M., Martin, A., Grant, L. & Meyer, B. (2020). The effect of dietary supplementation on aggressive behaviour in australian adult male prisoners: A feasibility and pilot study for a randomised, double blind placebo controlled trial. Nutrients, 12 (9), 1-15.


This study aimed to assess the feasibility of conducting a nutrition trial in adult male prisoners. Adult male prisoners were recruited for a 16-week randomised control trial comparing the effect of ingestion of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) and multivitamin supplements versus placebo on aggressive behaviour. The baseline and post-intervention assessments from the participant blood samples were the erythrocyte n-3 LCPUFA levels as well as measures of aggressive behaviour determined through institutional records of misconduct (IRM), the Inmate Behaviour Observation Scale (IBOS), and questionnaires. A total of 136 adult male prisoners consented to the study with a retention rate of 60%, and 93% of blood samples were successfully collected. The IRM and IBOS scores were collected for 100% of participants, whilst 82–97% of participants completed the questionnaires. From the baseline data, the Odds Ratio shows that prisoners are 4.3 times more likely to have an IBOS >2 if they are below the 6% cut off on the omega-3 index. Both groups improved across all outcome measures and, at the current sample size, no significant differences were seen between them. A power calculation suggests a total sample size of 600 participants is required to detect the effects of this dietary supplementation, and that this supplementation study is feasible in a Correctional Centre. Important criteria for the exclusion and consideration of logistics and compliance are presented.


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