Health Disparities Research in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: A Scoping Review

Jeremy Barr, Aaron Mackie, Daniel Gorelik, Hannah Buckingham, Delaney Clark, Anthony E. Brissett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Health disparities contribute significantly to disease, health outcomes, and access to care. Little is known about the state of health disparities in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (FPRS). This scoping review aims to synthesize the existing disparities research in FPRS and guide future disparities-related efforts. Data Sources: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science. Review Methods: We conducted a scoping review in adherence with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews checklist. Our search included all years through March 03, 2023. All peer-reviewed primary literature of any design related to disparities in FPRS was eligible for inclusion. Results: Of the 12283 unique abstracts identified, 215 studies underwent full-text review, and 108 remained for final review. The most frequently examined topics were cleft lip and palate (40.7%), facial trauma (29.6%), and gender affirmation (9.3%). There was limited coverage of other areas. Consideration of race/ethnicity (68.5%), socioeconomic status (65.7%), and gender/sex (40.7%) were most common. Social capital (0%), religion, occupation, and features of relationships were least discussed (0.01% each). The majority of studies were published after 2018 (59.2%) and were of nonprospective designs (95.4%). Most studies focused on disparity detection (80.6%) and few focused on understanding (13.9%) or reducing disparities (0.06%). Conclusion: This study captures the existing literature on health disparities in FPRS. Studies are concentrated in a few areas of FPRS and are primarily in the detecting phase of public health research. Our review highlights several gaps and opportunities for future disparities-related focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • facial plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • facial plastic surgery
  • health disparities
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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