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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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School immunization coverage in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective cohort study

Hannah Sell; Yuba Raj Paudel; Donald Voaklander (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Vaccine

Few studies have assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on immunization coverage for adolescents, and little is known about how coverage has changed throughout the pandemic. This study aimed to: (1) assess the change in coverage for school-based vaccines in Alberta, Canada resulting from the pandemic; (2) determine whether coverage differed by geographic health zone and school type; and (3) ascertain whether coverage has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Using a retrospective cohort design, this study used administrative health data to compare coverage for human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal conjugate A, C, Y, W-135 (MenC-ACYW) vaccines between pre-pandemic (2017–2018 school year) and pandemic (2019–2020 and 2020–2021 school years) cohorts (N = 289,420). Coverage was also compared by health zone and authority type. The 2019–2020 cohort was followed over one year to assess catch-up.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 41 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 1333-1341 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, COVID-19, immunization, immunization programmes, infectious disease, pandemic, vaccination, vaccination policies | Countries: Canada
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: pan-Canadian perspectives from parents and caregivers of youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities

Ash Seth; Brittany Finlay; Genevieve Currie (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Health Care
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) and their families. Although health measures were implemented to contain the COVID-19 virus, they disrupted public service, profoundly impacting youth and their families’ access to services. This study sought to better understand the perspectives and experiences of parents and caregivers of youth with NDD across Canada in accessing services and their mental health needs during the pandemic. The study used a qualitative research design in which 40 parents and caregivers across Canada were interviewed.
LGBTQ2S+ youth perspectives on mental healthcare provider bias, standards of care, and accountability

Michael Chaiton; Rachel Thorburn; Megan Sutton (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Youth
This study explores the experiences of LGBTQ2S+ youth while accessing mental health and substance use care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a series of facilitated virtual meetings, 33 LGBTQ2S+ youth from across Ontario participated in collaborative activities to identify barriers they have experienced when accessing mental health services, as well as potential solutions to these barriers. Discussions were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Access to mental health support, unmet need and preferences among adolescents during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Lauren R. Gorfinkel; Gaelen Snell; David Long (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Journal

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread effects on adolescent mental health. However, little is known about support-seeking, unmet need and preferences for mental health care among adolescents. The Youth Development Instrument (YDI) is a school-administered survey of adolescents (N = 1928, mean age = 17.1, SD = 0.3) across British Columbia, Canada. In this cohort, we assessed the characteristics of accessed mental health supports, prevalence of unmet need and preferences for in-person versus internet-based services.

Disruption to education during COVID-19: school nonacademic factors are associated with children's mental health

Kimberley C. Tsujimoto; Katherine Tombeau Cost; Kaitlyn Laforge-Mackenzie (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatric2

Few studies have examined aspects of the school environment, beyond modality, as contributors to child and youth mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. We investigated associations between nonacademic school experiences and children's mental health. Parents of children ages 6 to 18 years completed online surveys about school experiences (November 2020) and mental health (February/March 2021). Parent-reported and child-reported school experiences (i.e., nonacademic factors) included school importance, adapting to public health measures, and school connectedness. Children's mental health symptoms of depression, anxiety, inattention, and hyperactivity were collected using standardized parent-reported measures.

Daily COVID-19 stressor effects on children's mental health depend on pre-pandemic peer victimization and resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia

Tracy K. Y. Wong; Tyler Colasante; Tina Malti

Published: December 2022   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Children’s risk of poorer mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic may depend on risk and protective factors heading into the pandemic. This study examined same-day associations between COVID-19 stressors and children’s mental health using a daily diary design across 14 days, and considered the moderating roles of pre-pandemic peer victimization experiences and resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; an indicator of cardiac regulatory capacity). Forty-nine Canadian children aged 8–13 years (Mage = 10.69, 29 girls) participated in the final wave of a longitudinal study just prior to the pandemic and a daily diary extension during the pandemic (N = 686 pandemic measurement occasions).
We survived the pandemic together: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian families living with chronic pain

Tieghan Killackey; Sabine Soltani; Melanie Noel (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Canadian Journal of Pain

Pediatric chronic pain is a significant problem in Canada, affecting one in five youth. This study describes the impact of the pandemic on the experiences of Canadian families living with chronic pain through interviews with youth living with chronic pain, parents, and siblings. Employing a qualitative descriptive design, in-depth semistructured interviews were completed with Canadian youth living with pain, as well as parents and siblings. Participants were not required to be related. Interviews were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach.

Accessibility of child protection investigations during pandemic: a qualitative analysis of court proceedings

Munazza Tahir; Virginie Cobigo

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Qualitative research using published court records to examine contextual factors that contribute to child protection decisions in cases involving parents with intellectual disabilities is limited, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study conducted qualitative content analysis on 10 published Ontario court cases to study child protection decision-making between 2019 and 2021.

Worries, beliefs and factors influencing perinatal COVID-19 vaccination: a cross-sectional survey of preconception, pregnant and lactating individuals

Serine Ramlawi; Katherine A. Muldoon; Sandra I. Dunn (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for pregnant and lactating individuals, and there is substantial evidence for their safety and effectiveness. As the pandemic continues, information on worries and beliefs surrounding perinatal COVID-19 vaccination remains important to inform efforts aimed at improving vaccine uptake. Our objectives were to assess factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination among perinatal individuals; and to explore motivational factors associated with willingness to be vaccinated among unvaccinated perinatal individuals. This was a cross-sectional web-based survey of preconception, pregnant, and lactating individuals in Canada. The outcomes of interest were vaccination with at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine and willingness to be vaccinated among unvaccinated individuals. Sample characteristics were summarized using frequencies and percentages. The association between eight prespecified risk factors and two outcomes (vaccination status and willingness to be vaccinated) was assessed by logistic regression. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for the total sample, and across perinatal sub-groups.

Family functioning and quality of life among children with nephrotic syndrome during the first pandemic wave

Nowrin F. Aman; Jessica Fitzpatrick; Isabel de Verteuil (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Pediatric Nephrology

During the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic, one of the longest lockdowns worldwide occurred in Ontario, Canada, during the first wave. For parents and children managing care at home and at risk for COVID-19, the impact on their psychosocial functioning is unknown. A total of 122 families of children aged 2–18 years were enrolled as part of the prospective cohort of childhood nephrotic syndrome and completed a survey during the first wave of the pandemic (August 21–December 10), 2020. In a subset, 107 families had data available pre-pandemic to assess change. Validated measures included the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD) for parents and children ≥ 12 years for family functioning, the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4) for both parent and child, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PEDSQL™-V4) for children only. Scores were compared using Student’s t-test or the Mann–Whitney U test, as appropriate.

An exploratory mixed-method descriptive analysis of youth coping during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec

Martine Hébert; Arianne Jean-Thorn; Katherine Malchelosse

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
This study presents an exploratory mixed-method descriptive analysis of psychological distress, challenges encountered and coping strategies of youth during the first wave of COVID-19. A total of 4 914 Quebec youth, aged 14 to 25 recruited through social media completed an online survey on the impact of the pandemic on their daily life, psychological distress and post-traumatic growth. They were also invited to answer two open-ended questions regarding the difficulties they experienced and their coping strategies. Overall, 26.6% of youth showed serious psychological distress and 20.3% displayed probable PTSD symptoms related to the COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic and quality of life: experiences contributing to and harming the well-being of Canadian children and adolescents

Christine Gervais; Isabel Côté; Sophie Lampron-deSouza (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
The pandemic’s restrictive measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, and the wearing of masks transformed young people’s daily lives and brought up major concerns regarding children’s and adolescents’ well-being. This longitudinal mixed study aims to identify how different experiences contributed to children’s and adolescents’ well-being through different stages of the pandemic. The sample comprises 149 Canadian youth from Quebec who shared their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children and adolescents were met virtually for semi-directed interviews about their well-being at three measurement time (T1: May 2020 lockdown, T2: July 2020 progressive reopening, and T3: beginning of the second wave). At T3, they also completed a questionnaire measuring their quality of life.
Socio-demographic disparities in receipt of clinical health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic for Canadian children with disability

Miriam Gonzalez; Jinan Zeidan; Jonathan Lai (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BMC Health Services Research

Little is known about the experience of receiving in-person and virtual clinical health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic for Canadian children with developmental disabilities and delays facing multiple layers of vulnerability (e.g., low income, low educational attainment families). It examined the relationship between socio-demographic factors and the receipt of these services (physical and mental health services) during COVID-19 for Canadian children with these conditions. Data collected in Canada for the Global Report on Developmental Delays, Disorders and Disabilities were used. The survey: (1) was developed and disseminated in collaboration with caregivers of children with disabilities, (2) included topics such as response to the pandemic and receipt of services and supports, and (3) documented the experiences of a non-random convenience sample of caregivers of children (any age) with these conditions during and prior to the pandemic.

CARD (Comfort Ask Relax Distract) for community pharmacy vaccinations in children: effect on immunization stress-related responses and satisfaction

Anna Taddio; James Morrison; Molly Yang (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Canadian Pharmacists Journal
CARD (Comfort Ask Relax Distract) is a vaccine delivery program demonstrated to reduce pain, fear and associated immunization stress-related responses (ISRR) in children undergoing vaccinations at school. This study evaluated CARD’s clinical impact when integrated into community pharmacy–based pediatric vaccinations. This was a before-and-after CARD implementation study in 5 independent pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children aged 5-11 years. No changes were made to practices in the “before” phase. CARD interventions were integrated in the “after” phase (e.g., children prepared a coping plan using a checklist, distraction toolkits were placed in waiting and vaccination spaces, vaccinations were performed with privacy, needles were obscured). Children self-reported ISRR, including fear, pain and dizziness during vaccination, and both children and parents/caregivers (herein, parents) compared the child’s experience to their last needle (better, same, worse). In the “after” phase, parents and children reported how much CARD helped (not at all, a little bit, a moderate amount, a lot).
"Make sure I hear snoring": Adolescent girls, trans, and non-binary youth using sound for sexual wellbeing boundary-making at home during COVID-19

Leah I. Coppell; Sarah Flicker; Alanna Goldstein

Published: November 2022   Journal: Wellbeing, Space and Society
To understand how COVID-19′s stay-at-home orders impacted youths’ sexual and social development, we conducted five virtual focus groups (n = 34) with adolescent girls’, trans’, and non-binary youths’ aged 16–19 between April-June 2021 in the GTA. We queried experiences of home, privacy, and sexual wellbeing during Canada's third wave. Auto-generated zoom transcripts were coded using an inductive framework with NVivo. Field notes and team discussions on the coded data informed the analysis. This paper explores how sexual wellbeing during the pandemic is practiced in relation to, dependent upon, and negotiated at home.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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