Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Patrick Palmieri


In the United States, one in every 100 adults is confined to a correctional facility. Approximately 60% of inmates have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). When compared to the general population, inmates are twice as likely to have AUD. As they are unable to readily access alcohol, inmates entering a correctional facility with AUD are at high risk for the lethal alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). AWS is preventable and yet correctional nurses process new inmates without an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (CPG) to assess for AUD, the prerequisite for AWS. The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence-based CPG with implementation algorithm to guide the inmate assessment for AUD. The ACE star model of knowledge transformation guided the project, the AGREE II was used to develop the CPG, and the Delphi technique was used to evaluate the final CPG with algorithm. Nationally, 20 correctional health experts were identified and asked to participate in the Delphi expert panel, although 11 experts agreed to participate only 9 completed the evaluation. The experts were correctional health experts, nurses and physicians, from different regions of the United States. The resulting CPG satisfied all 23-items of the AGREE II. Through 2 Delphi panel rounds, all participants recommended the CPG with minor modifications (6 experts recommended as presented while the 3 recommended with modifications). At the project conclusion, all 9 experts agreed the CPG will help improve the identification, referral, and management of inmates with AUD. This project contributes to positive social change as the CPG addresses a serious problem, AUD with possible AWS, in a vulnerable population. The CPG may be generalizable for use in other correctional facilities.

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