Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on chronic pain in Spain: a scoping review
The COVID-19 outbreak has been a great challenge in the management of chronic pain patients. We have conducted a rapid scoping review to assess the impact of the pandemic (and the associated public health measures) on the health status and management practices of chronic pain patients in Spain.
To this end, we performed a bibliographic search in LitCOVID and PubMed and reviewed official websites and documents, and expert reports. The review showed that (1) the studies consistently indicate that the pandemic has had a very negative impact on the physical and psychological health of chronic pain patients; (2) there are scarce data on how the pandemic affected pain unit consultations and a lack of protocols to organize health care in the face of future waves of contagion, with little implementation of telehealth. We make proposals to improve the management of chronic pain patients in pandemic situations, which should pivot around 3 axes: (1) a coordinated response of all the relevant stakeholders to define a future roadmap and research priorities, (2) a biopsychosocial approach in pain management, and (3) development and implementation of novel telemedicine solutions.