Chronic pain services in the UK are required to provide services which meet the diverse needs of patients, but little is known about the access and use of these services by minority ethnic groups.
To assess the available evidence regarding the ethnic profile of adults who access secondary and tertiary chronic pain services in the UK.
A scoping review was conducted (August 2021–October 2021), comprising comprehensive literature searches using Embase, Medline and CINAHL databases and the grey literature. Studies were included if they reported on (i) access to chronic pain services in secondary and/or tertiary care in the UK, (ii) adults and (iii) stated the ethnicity of the involved participants. Studies were included if published between 2004 and 2021, as demographic data during this period would be broadly representative of the UK population, as per the 2021 UK census. A descriptive synthesis of the extracted data was performed.
The search yielded 124 records after duplicates were removed. Following title and abstract screening, 44 full texts were screened, ten of which were included in the review.
This is the first review to explore access to chronic pain services for adults from minority ethnic groups in the UK. Given the limited number of studies that met the inclusion criteria, the review highlights the need for routine collection of ethnicity data using consistent ethnic categories within UK chronic pain services and increased involvement of minority ethnic groups within chronic pain research. Findings should inform future research that aims to improve access to UK chronic pain services for adults from minority ethnic groups.