A retrospective analysis of the ethnicity of individuals referred to a tertiary Neuropsychology service in the United Kingdom

Alistair Teager, Georgia Dunning, Nadine Mirza, Abigail Methley, Jessica Twigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Ethnic minorities comprise approximately 18% of the UK population
and are at high risk of developing neurological conditions. Despite this, there is little information regarding their access to neuropsychology services. This study
evaluated whether ethnic minorities were proportionally represented in a tertiary
neuropsychology department in the UK in accordance with census data for the
region. We also aimed to highlight which ethnic groups were over- and
underrepresented.

Method: Anonymised demographic data of 3429 outpatient and 3304 inpatient
referrals to an adult UK neuropsychology department was collected. This data
was compared to the 2021 UK census data for the region.

Results: Ethnicities in both the outpatient referrals (χ²(15) = 24066.55, p < .001)
and inpatient referrals (χ²(15) = 35940924.75, p < .001) significantly differed
from the Census. All ethnic minorities were underrepresented in adult
neuropsychology referral data for both outpatient settings (-0.06% to -4.66%) and
inpatient settings (-0.01% to -4.99%). Pakistani individuals were the most
underrepresented across all settings, followed by individuals from an African
background. Conversely, individuals of White British ethnicity were
overrepresented in both outpatient settings (+10.73%) and inpatient settings
(+15.68%).

Conclusions: UK ethnic minorities were not referred to a neuropsychology
service relative to regional population prevalence. This contradicts their increased
susceptibility for risk of neurological conditions but may also indicate the inaccessibility of neuroscience services for ethnic minorities. Replicating this
study across different regions and gathering data on prevalence rates for different neurological conditions across ethnicity is recommended. Additionally,
improving accessibility of neuropsychology services for British ethnic minorities
should be prioritised.

Keywords: Ethnic Minority, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, Acquired Brain
Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Tumour, Stroke, Dementia, Psychology
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023

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