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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Psychotropic medication use and psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic among Danish children, adolescents, and young adults

Mette Bliddal; Lotte Rasmussen; Jacob Harbo Andersen (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: JAMA Psychiatry

The direct and indirect implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have been associated with the mental health of children and adolescents, but it is uncertain whether these implications have been associated with changes in prescribing and diagnosis patterns. This study aimed to examine psychotropic medication use and rates of psychiatric disorders in Danish children, adolescents, and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. This population-based, descriptive register-based cohort study included all Danish individuals aged 5 to 24 years from January 1, 2017, until June 30, 2022.

Short- and long-term self-reported symptoms in adolescents aged 12–19 years after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 compared to adolescents not vaccinated: a Danish retrospective cohort study

Selina Kikkenborg Berg; Helle Wallach-Kildemoes; Line Ryberg Rasmussen (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Vaccines
This study investigated self-reported short- and long-term symptoms among adolescents receiving the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and those who did not. A retrospective cohort study based on Danish national survey (collected between 20 July and 15 September 2021) and register data was conducted. Differences in short-term (<14 days) and long-term (>two months) symptoms were explored using logistic regression adjusted for confounders. A total of 747 vaccinated (first dose n = 326; second dose n = 421) and 6300 unvaccinated adolescents were included in analyses of short-term symptoms and 32 vaccinated and 704 unvaccinated adolescents in long-term symptom analyses.
Consequences of COVID-19-related lockdowns and reopenings on emergency hospitalizations in pediatric patients in Denmark during 2020-2021

Rada Faris Al-Jwadi; Elisabeth Helen Anna Mills; Christian Torp-Pedersen (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics (
There is a considerable burden of children being hospitalized due to infectious diseases worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique opportunity to examine effects of worldwide efforts to control spread of infection. We aimed to investigate overall age-specific hospitalizations due to viral and bacterial infections and diseases triggered by respiratory tract infections during and after lockdown. This nationwide register–based observational study included children from 29 days to 17 years old hospitalized in all Danish pediatric emergency departments during the years 2015–2021.
Social and psychiatric effects of Covid-19 pandemic and distance learning on high school students: a cross-sectional web-based survey

L. S. Seyahi; S. G. Ozcan; N. Sut (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: African Educational Research Journal
This study investigated the socio-psychological effects of both the pandemic and distance learning on high school students in Turkey and Denmark. It aimed to assess whether there were any differences between students attending public or private schools in Turkey, and between two countries having different approaches to the pandemic and considerable socio-cultural and economic differences. It conducted a web-based questionnaire study in a cross-sectional design using the Survey Monkey Platform and sent it out via social media to high school students in Turkey and Denmark
Stressors from and well-being after COVID-19 among Danish primary and lower secondary school students

A. Qvortrup

Published: September 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Due to COVID-19, 2020 was a strange and different school year for many students around the world. Based on a survey of primary school students (N = 2665) conducted in December 2020, this article examines students’ well-being and stress levels one year after the first COVID-19 outbreak. It also examines how students emotionally relate to the pandemic after a year with a large number of persistent stressors caused by school closures and re-openings. The article indicates that at a general level, COVID-19 seems to be a moderate stressor for students, but a number of specific stressors are identified. The article shows that well-being and stress levels vary among different groups of students, and it finds that there is a group of almost a third of the students that we should pay special attention to. Finally, the article identifies eight themes in how the students relate, negatively and positively, to the pandemic.
Changes in cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use during the COVID-19 lockdown period among youth and young adults in Denmark

Lotus S. Bast; Simone G. Kjeld; Marie B. Klitgaard

Published: August 2022   Journal: Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco (snus and nicotine pouches) are prevalent among youth and young adults in Denmark. This study examined the extent of changes in the use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco during the first Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown in March and April 2020 in Denmark as well as reasons for changed behavior. This study used data from a nationwide survey conducted among 15- to 29-year-olds from January to March 2021 including 13 530 respondents (response rate = 36.0%). Logistic regression analyses assessed the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the odds of initiating or increasing as well as trying to stop or decreasing cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use.

SARS-CoV-2 infection in households with and without young children: nationwide cohort study, Denmark, 27 February 2020 to 26 February 2021

Anders Husby; Giulia Corn; Tyra Grove Krause

Published: August 2022   Journal: Eurosurveillance

Infections with seasonally spreading coronaviruses are common among young children during winter months in the northern hemisphere; the immunological response lasts around a year. However, it is not clear if living with young children changes the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among adult. This study aimed to investigate the association between living in a household with younger children and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections and hospitalisation.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 27 | Issue: 32 | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, disease transmission, hospitalization, infectious disease, pandemic | Countries: Denmark
Health anxiety symptoms in Danish children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an Odense Child Cohort study

Ditte Hulgaard; J. Nissen; N. Bilenberg (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Concerns about the possible negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological wellbeing of children are increasing. Especially worries about health and illness may be exacerbated. Two investigations of health anxiety symptoms (HAS) in Danish children performed in 2020 and in 2021 respectively, are presented, aiming to explore 1) the level of HAS, 2) associations with potential risk factors, e.g.: parental HAS and child internalizing symptoms, and 3) the trajectories of HAS over time. Among the current Odense child cohort (OCC) population of 2430 children, 994 participated in the 2020 study (response rate 40%) and 567 participated in the 2021 study (response rate 25.5%). Children and their parents filled out questionnaires about child HAS and covariates. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were calculated between high score child HAS (≥90th percentile in the 2020 population) and covariates, by use of logistic regression. The HAS scores of children participating in both the 2020 and 2021 questionnaires were divided into four trajectory groups.

Incidence and clinical phenotype of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant by vaccination status: a Danish nationwide prospective cohort study.

Ulrikka Nygaard; Mette Holm; Ulla Birgitte Hartling (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) occurs after infection with SARS-CoV-2 and its incidence is likely to depend on multiple factors, including the variant of the preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine effectiveness. This study aimed to estimate the incidence of MIS-C, and describe the clinical phenotype, following the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.617.2 and sublineages) according to vaccination status. It aimed to compare the incidence and clinical phenotype of MIS-C from our cohort during the pre-delta era. This prospective, population-based cohort study included patients aged 0–17 years hospitalised with MIS-C in Denmark, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition, from Aug 1, 2021, to Feb 1, 2022, a period dominated by the delta variant. It identified MIS-C cases via a nationwide research collaboration involving real-time data collection from all 18 paediatric departments. Aggregated number of SARS-CoV-2 infections by vaccination status was obtained from the Danish COVID-19 surveillance registries. The incidence of MIS-C was calculated using the estimated number of infected individuals by vaccination status
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 6 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 459-465 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, hospitalization, infectious disease, vaccination, vaccination policies | Countries: Denmark
Measuring parents’ readiness to vaccinate themselves and their children against COVID-19

Franziska Rees; Mattis Geiger; Lau Lilleholt (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Vaccine
To reach high vaccination rates against COVID-19, children and adolescents should be also vaccinated. To improve childhood vaccination rates and vaccination readiness, parents need to be addressed since they decide about the vaccination of their children. This study adapted the 7C of vaccination readiness scale to measure parents’ readiness to vaccinate their children and evaluated the scale in a long and a short version in two studies. The study was first evaluated with a sample of N = 244 parents from the German COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) and validated with N = 464 parents from the Danish COSMO.
Risk of adverse events after covid-19 in Danish children and adolescents and effectiveness of BNT162b2 in adolescents: cohort study

Helene Kildegaard; Lars Christian Lund; Mikkel Højlund

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ
This study aims to assess the risk of acute and post-acute adverse events after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents in Denmark and to evaluate the real world effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) among adolescents.
Acute symptoms in SARS-CoV-2 positive adolescents aged 15–18 years – Results from a Danish national cross-sectional survey study

Selina Kikkenborg Berg; Pernille Palm; Susanne Dam Nielsen (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe

The purpose of this study was to investigate prevalence of self-reported symptom burden during the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated factors including sex differences. All Danish adolescents aged 15–18 years with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between January 2020 and July 2021 were invited to participate. A survey covered the initial four weeks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and included questions regarding 17 symptoms associated with acute COVID-19, symptom burden and medical history. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and logistic regression.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 16 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, COVID-19, infectious disease, pandemic, respiratory diseases | Countries: Denmark
Child well-being in early childhood education and care during COVID-19: child sensitivity in small, fixed groups

Anette Boye Koch

Published: March 2022   Journal: Children & Society
The article explores child well-being in Danish early childhood education and care (ECEC) during the time of COVID-19. A phased reopening of Denmark occurred in spring 2020 under strict health guidelines. Two ECEC institutions were followed first-hand to observe the impact of the pandemic on pedagogy and child well-being. Observations and interviews were conducted with follow-up interviews and an online survey a year later. The findings suggest that the pandemic caused pedagogues to work in a more child-sensitive way with elevated staff/child ratios and children in small, fixed groups; however, child well-being was not negatively affected, despite the acute situation.
Playful learning during the reopening of Danish schools after Covid 19 closures

A. Qvortrup; R. Lomholt; V. Christensen (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
This article is based on qualitative and quantitative data collected from teachers and pupils in Danish schools in June 2020, as schools reopened following closures in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It investigates the transformations in school life that took place in this period in response to strict official guidelines to prevent the spread of infection, transformations both in school learning environments and in teaching activities. Using factor and cluster analyses and logistic regression, it explores the relation between teaching environment and pupils’ emotional, social, and academic wellbeing, identifying correlations between key factors in the environment and the three dimensions of wellbeing. The study contributes both to understanding and dealing with the crisis in which education systems in the Nordic countries have found themselves in and adds relevant knowledge on themes of importance for education in the future.
Impact of housing conditions on changes in youth’s mental health following the initial national COVID-19 lockdown: a cohort study

Jonathan Groot; Amélie Keller; Andrea Joensen (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports
This study aimed to investigate if declines in youth’s mental health during lockdown were dependent on housing condition among 7445 youth (median age ~ 20 years) from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), with data collected at 18 years of age and again three weeks into the first national lockdown (April 2020). It examined associations between housing conditions (access to outdoor spaces, urbanicity, household density, and household composition) and changes in mental health (mental well-being, Quality of Life (QoL) and loneliness). Results from multivariate linear and logistic regression models were reported.
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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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