Oral health care in the lives of Gypsy Travellers in east Hertfordshire

Br Dent J. 1997 Oct 11;183(7):252-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4809479.


Objective: To explore Gypsy Travellers' perceptions of dental health and dental service use within the context of culture, environment and the use of other services.

Setting: The author was a community dental officer and the study formed part of a MSc dissertation in dental public health.

Subjects and methods: Information was obtained from semi-structured interviews with 43 Gypsy Travellers supplemented by a questionnaire and clinical screening of 72 Travellers.

Main outcome measures: Place of residence, registration with GMP and GDP, school attendance, caries, normative and perceived barriers to care.

Results: The Travellers in the study had a high level of unmet need, low dental registration and very little use of preventive services. Travellers have no cultural barriers to dental care. Control of their travelling was the major factor determining access to education and health services.

Conclusions: There is inequity of dental health and dental service use with more disadvantage being experienced by Travellers on unauthorized and transit sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Culture
  • Dental Care*
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology
  • Education
  • England / epidemiology
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Health Services
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Oral Health*
  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Registries
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Roma* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires