A scoping review of interventions to improve oral health in prison settings

Joelle Booth (Lead / Corresponding author), Lucy O'Malley, Rosie Meek, Niall Mc Goldrick, Matthew Maycock, Janet Clarkson, Kristina Wanyonyi-Kay

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Objective: To describe the characteristics of oral health interventions implemented in prison settings and explore the barriers and facilitators towards implementation.

Methods: Following Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review methodology, six databases were searched including Medline (R), Emcare, Embase, AMED, Cochrane and PsycINFO. A total of 978 studies were returned and screened. The inclusion criteria were those studies conducted in a prison population, with an intervention to address oral health and published since 2000.

Results: Ten studies published between 2008 and 2021 were included. All were conducted in high-income countries. Three intervention types were identified: health education (n = 5), teledentistry (n = 3) and screening or triaging (n = 2). The barriers and facilitators to successful implementation were grouped into a framework of four overarching concepts. These included prison environment, population makeup, compliance and staffing.

Clinical Significance: Evidence suggests that oral health interventions in prisons are focused on improving access to services and oral health messages. A range of drivers including the prison environment, staffing levels, recruitment and intervention compliance influence implementation and the success of interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2022


  • Psychosocial aspects of oral health
  • Special care
  • adults
  • dental Health
  • health behaviour
  • oral health


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