Community-based oral health interventions for people experiencing homelessness: a scoping review

Laura Beaton*, Gerry Humphris, Andrea Rodriguez, Ruth Freeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the characteristics of community-based oral health interventions for people experiencing homelessness. Basic research design: A scoping review was conducted, adhering to the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: Scoping Reviews) checklist. A search strategy was developed using MeSH terms and key words, and used to search the following electronic databases: Medline/PubMed, CINAHL, ProQuest Assia, Scopus, Web of Science and PsychNet. Key journals and reference lists were also hand-searched. Two reviewers then read the abstracts of all papers, excluding duplicates and papers that did not meet the eligibility criteria. The reviewers then read to full-texts of the studies to be included in the review. Results: Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. These studies were predominantly evaluations of community-based dental services or other oral health interventions. Several recommendations were extracted. Interventions should involve co-design with homeless service users; multidisciplinary working, collaboration with dental practitioners, and working with educational establishments. The location of community-based services was also found to be of importance. Conclusion: This review has highlighted several recommendations, as well as gaps in the literature. These gaps suggest a need for more non-clinical oral health interventions for the homeless population, and a closer look at the role that non-dental practitioners can play in the delivery of oral health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Dental care
  • Homeless persons
  • Homeless youth
  • Oral health
  • Scoping review


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