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A rapid review of barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics


Introduction The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics and serves to protect every individual against discrimination. The Act places emphasis on the need to reduce inequalities. An understanding, therefore, of existing barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics is required to inform policy and the commissioning of services.

Aim To conduct a rapid review of current UK literature on barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics.

Methods Electronic searching using Medline via Ovid limited to publications in English from the UK. Publication types included primary and secondary evidence from peer-reviewed journals and reports.

Results From a total of 462 citations, 52 articles were included in the final review. Common barriers experienced across the protected characteristic groups were identified in addition to specific barriers experienced by those with protected characteristics.

Conclusion This rapid review identified barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics at individual and organisational levels. Gaps identified in the literature include a lack of information available for barriers experienced by people due to sexual orientation, marital/civil partnership status and gender reassignment. Additionally, there is a gap in the evidence available on policy barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics.

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Correspondence to Sarab El-Yousfi.

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El-Yousfi, S., Jones, K., White, S. et al. A rapid review of barriers to oral healthcare for people with protected characteristics. Br Dent J 228, 853–858 (2020).

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