Anesthesiologists and community engagement: A scoping review of the literature


Advocate Aurora Sinai Hospital


Millions of individuals require anesthesia services each year. Although anesthesia-associated mortality rates have declined, anesthetic-related morbidity remains high, particularly among vulnerable populations. Disparities in perioperative screening, optimization, surveillance, and follow-up contribute to worse outcomes in these populations. Community-engaged collaborations may be the essential ingredient needed for anesthesiologists to improve disparities in anesthetic outcomes and prioritize the needs of patients and communities. This scoping review seeks to examine the available literature on community engagement among anesthesiologists to identify gaps and seek opportunities for future work. This review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). OVID MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science Core Collection were searched to identify sources that used or recognized community-engaged strategies and involved the work of anesthesiologists. Sources were selected based on inclusion criteria and consistent data were extracted from each paper for compilation in a data chart. The initial search generated 1230 articles of which 16 met criteria for inclusion in the review. An updated search of the literature and reference scan of included sources resulted in 7 additional articles being included. The sources were grouped according to overarching themes and methods used and ultimately categorized according to the spectrum of public participation developed by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). This spectrum includes 5 levels: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, and empower. This review identified 5 sources at the inform level, 8 studies in consult, 0 in involve, 7 in collaborate, and 3 in empower. Results indicate that most initiatives representing deeper levels of community engagement, at the collaborate or empower level, occur internationally. Efforts that occur in the United States tend to emphasize engagement of individual patients rather than communities. There is a need to pursue deeper, more meaningful community-engaged efforts within the field of anesthesiology at a local and national level.

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