Transformative learning in early-career child and adolescent psychiatry in the pandemic
Sowmyashree Mayur Kaku; Ana Moscoso; Jordan Sibeoni (et al.)
Published: February 2021
Journal: The Lancet Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has globally affected the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as the daily lives of early-career child and adolescent psychiatrists. There have been changes in continuity of care (eg, postponed, cancelled, or online consultations, and few functioning inpatient units, with others becoming COVID-19 units) and the usual work frame (eg, facemasks, physical distancing, and not offering toys). Work shifted to creating standard operating procedures for care with safety precautions; disseminating advice and information about mental health; offering mental health support to frontline workers; and helping with duties outside of child and adolescent psychiatry. As early-career clinicians in child and adolescent psychiatry, we feared potential problems, such as increased risk of child abuse, domestic violence; behavioural crisis or suicide in adolescents who rely mostly on peer support and their social life; diagnostic delays (eg, for neurodevelopmental disorders); and parental burn-out (as the only caregivers). The fear of infection reduced emergency visits, but probably made these at-risk families inaccessible to clinicians.