Table of Contents
Chronic pain is a major clinical challenge in Scotland and across Europe as a whole. 18% of the United Kingdom population are currently affected by severe chronic pain. Health Boards and Third Sector Organisations shifted to digital services due to COVID-19. The aim of this literature review was to examine the patient’s perception, engagement, and satisfaction of digital pain management services and what this shows for the future after the pandemic. Published literature on chronic pain management studies conducted in the UK or EU from 2017 to 2021 were reviewed. The results of the literature were compared with the latest survey conducted by Pain Association Scotland (PAS) on digital service delivery during the pandemic. Five papers were found. The outcomes reported were acceptance, feasibility, pain intensity, attrition, and cost-savings. When compared with the results from the PAS survey, there were some similarities found in patient engagement and outcomes, namely, increased coping, a reduction in GP visits and the request for a blended model of self-management delivery going forward. Digital chronic pain management is feasible and there is evidence of suggestive benefits during and before the pandemic. There is a need for funding, clear protocols and pathways, resource training and further focused research within the UK population, for this method of service delivery to become mainstream.
Keywords: Pain management, COVID-19, protocols, hybrid healthcare, digital healthcare