Sifat E Sultana

Sifat E Sultana
Masters Student
Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan

Current Research Project:

The Scope of Patient Oriented Research (POR) among the Forensic Population in South and South East Asian (SEA) Countries: A Critical Review for Moving Forward

Though it is well acknowledged that incorporating the lived experiences of patients in health research can promote more responsive, sustainable, non-hierarchical and reciprocal relations between patients and health professionals, the meaningful engagement of patients has yet not been prioritized in South and South East Asian (SEA) countries, including in forensic settings. This research is an attempt to provide an understanding on what types of research are conducted and also a reference point for evaluating the scope of patient-oriented research (POR) in forensic settings in South and SEA countries. The study adopts a critical review method using several health-related databases for its findings. The results reveal that despite covering a diverse range of health-related topics such as HIV/AIDS, TB or hepatitis among incarcerated persons in these regions, patients were not included in most of the studies from problem identification to dissemination of findings. Only one study in this review appeared as a POR. Patients in most of the previous studies were taken only as a source of data collection, not as a partner. The meaningful inclusiveness of prison populations has yet not been included for promoting recovery-oriented, patient-centered care in forensic settings. The results also show that in spite of documented increases of incarcerated persons in South and SEA countries, there is a dearth of research and publications on this issue. My research concludes by suggesting how sociological theory and concept can help POR move forward in application and impact. The findings thus suggest that there is a need to implement a culturally appropriate POR core competency guideline and framework for conducting POR on prison populations in these regions.

What motivated you to pursue this project and what have been your challenges?

During the time of my MA study, I had the opportunity to work with a patient partner in a project and practically realized the importance of engaging patients in decision-making. This experience motivated me to work on this topic of POR. As there was limited research conducted on prison populations in South and SEA, it was challenging for me to find existing papers on this topic. Additionally, I wanted to conduct face to face interviews with incarcerated persons but due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have changed my research methods to avoid travel in SEA.

Where do you see your project having the most impact?

I think my research project will help the future researcher to work in this area. To my knowledge, this is the first research that comprises synthesis of the prison literature of South and SEA.

What advice do you have for other graduate students?

The ethical approval needed for conducting patient-oriented research takes time. Future graduate students should apply for ethical permission well ahead of time.


Billah, Masum., Sultana, Sifat. E and Imrul Kabir, M. H. M. 2020. “Exploring Challenges of Maternal Healthcare Utilization in Bangladesh: A Cross-sectional Survey in Saturia, Manikganj District.” Indian Journal Of Public Health Research & Development, 11(4).

Sultana, Sifat. E. 2017. “HIV Positive Women in Bangladesh: Lived Experiences, Vulnerabilities and Sexual Health Knowledge.” American Journal of Public Health, 5(6), 190-196.

Sultana, Sifat. E. 2014. “Impacts of internal stigma among the people living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh: An empirical account.” Asian social science, 10(19), 180.

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