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

Joelle Booth, Lucy O'Malley, Rosie Meek, Niall Mc Goldrick, Matthew Maycock, Janet Clarkson, Kristina Wanyonyi‐Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number3
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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


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