Is oral health an important factor for mental health among people in custody in Scottish prisons?

  • Garima Arora (Speaker)
  • Humphris, G. (Contributor)
  • Derek Richards (Contributor)
  • Satu Lahti (Contributor)
  • Ruth Freeman (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Faculty of Public Health- Social Justice in Public Health Background: It is known that extreme dental fear and drug use affect oral health and access to dental services, what is not known is how depression is related to drug use and dental anxiety and how they impact upon decayed and missing teeth for people in custody. The aim was to determine the impact of depression, dental anxiety and drug use upon prisoner’s experience of decayed and missing teeth. Methods or Activities: A psychosocial needs assessment survey was conducted across Scottish prisons as part of the Scottish Oral Health Improvement Prison Programme (SOHIPP). A convenience sample of prisoners across three Scottish prisons completed a questionnaire to measure depression [Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)] and dental anxiety [Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS)]. Three questions assessed drug use: experience of drug use, injecting drug use and rehabilitation. The oral examination assessed decay into dentine (D3cv) and missing teeth (MT) in the four quadrants (D3cvMT). Latent variable path analysis investigated the impact of depression on D3cvMT. Results or Evaluation: 342 prisoners participated, with 298 complete data sets. Depression was associated with decayed and missing teeth through an indirect pathway (total standardized indirect effects = 0.09, p < 0.01) via the latent variable drug use and dental anxiety (X2 (60) = 74.188, p = 0.103; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation: 0.03; Comparative Fit index: 0.995 and Tucker-Lewis index: 0.993). Conclusions or Implications: Conclusion: Decayed into dentine and missing teeth among people in custody was predicted by depression, drug use and dental anxiety. Implications: oral health is an integral part of prison public health; it is central to rehabilitation; multidisciplinary working with oral health as a central driver.
Period28 Nov 2019
Event titleFaculty of Public Health: Social Justice in Public Health Preventing premature death and morbidity in Scotland.
Event typeConference
LocationDunblane , United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Prison oral health
  • Prison dentistry
  • dental public health
  • Inclusion Oral Health
  • Mental Health
  • Drugs
  • dental anxiety
  • oral health