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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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"Wearing a mask won't protect us from our history": the impact of COVID‐19 on black children and families

AUTHOR(S)
Erin Bogan; Valerie N. Adams-Bass; Lori A. Francis (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Social Policy Report
The data on COVID-19 show an irrefutable and disturbing pattern: Black Americans are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at rates that far exceed other racial and ethnic groups. Due to historical and current iterations of racism, Black Americans have been forced into conditions that elevate their risk for COVID-19 and consequently place Black children at the epicenter of loss across multiple domains of life. The current paper highlights the impact of the pandemic on Black children at the individual, family, and school levels. Based on an understanding of the influence of structural racism on COVID-19 disparities, policy recommendations are provided that focus on equitable access to quality education, home ownership, and employment to fully address the needs of Black children and families during and after the pandemic. Research, practice, and policy recommendations are made to journal editors, funding agencies, grant review panels, and researchers regarding how research on COVID-19 should be framed to inform intervention efforts aimed at improving the situation of Black children and families.
Measuring parents’ readiness to vaccinate themselves and their children against COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
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.
COVID-19‒related childhood BMI increases in China: a health surveillance‒based ambispective cohort analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Wenxin Ge; Jia Hu; Yue Xiao (et al.)

Published: May 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic‒related BMI gain and obesity prevalence changes in children have not been clearly elucidated, especially in China. This study aims to assess the impact of pandemic-related BMI and obesity prevalence change in Chinese children aged 8–12 years. On the basis of the Health Promotion Program for Children and Adolescents in Suzhou of China, a total of 72,175 children aged 8–12 years with complete data during 2017–2020 were included. Yearly BMI z-score changes and age- and sex-adjusted BMI changes before (2017–2019) and during (2019–2020) the pandemic were calculated. Multivariate mixed linear models were used to examine the possible difference in annual BMI change rate before and during the pandemic among subgroups.

On race and ethnicity during a global pandemic: An ‘imperfect mosaic’ of maternal and child health services in ethnically-diverse South London, United Kingdom

AUTHOR(S)
Sergio A. Silverio; Kaat De Backer; Tisha Dasgupta (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: eClinicalMedicine

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought racial and ethnic inequity into sharp focus, as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic people were reported to have greater clinical vulnerability. During the pandemic, priority was given to ongoing, reconfigured maternity and children’s healthcare. This study aimed to understand the intersection between race and ethnicity, and healthcare provision amongst maternity and children’s healthcare professionals, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Methods A qualitative study consisting of semi-structured interviews (N = 53) was undertaken with maternity (n = 29; August-November 2020) and children’s (n = 24; June-July 2021) healthcare professionals from an NHS Trust in ethnically-diverse South London, UK. Data pertinent to ethnicity and race were subject to Grounded Theory Analysis, whereby data was subjected to iterative coding and interpretive analysis. Using this methodology, data are compared between transcripts to generate lower and higher order codes, before super-categories are formed, which are finally worked into themes. The inter-relationship between these themes is interpreted as a final theory.

Assessment of clinical outcomes among children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in 6 Sub-Saharan African countries

AUTHOR(S)
Jean B. Nachega; Nadia A. Sam-Agudu; Rhoderick N. Machekano (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

What are the clinical outcomes and associated factors among children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa?  In this cohort study of 469 children and adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 in 6 sub-Saharan African countries, morbidity and mortality were substantially higher than reported among those in non-African settings and were independently associated with age younger than 1 year and select noncommunicable disease comorbidities.

Assessing changes to adolescent health-promoting behaviors following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: A multi-methods exploration of the role of within-person combinations of trait perfectionism

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa Blackburn; Tabitha Methot-Jones; Danielle S. Molnar (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Personality and individual differences
The current work provides a multi-methods exploration of how within-person subtypes of self-oriented perfectionism (SOP) and socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) were related to shifts in health-promoting behaviors among adolescents following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Study One tested the 2 × 2 and tripartite models of perfectionism through a quantitative test of how such subtypes predicted changes in health behaviors pre-pandemic to intra-pandemic among 202 adolescents (M = 17.86, SD = 1.421). Results indicated that the combination of high SOP/high SPP was linked to the most maladaptive changes to health-promoting behaviors, supporting the tripartite model. Study Two aimed to contextualize these findings by analyzing semi-structured interviews with 31 adolescent self-identified perfectionists (M = 15.97, SD = 1.991) during the initial lockdown mandate.
Strengthening mental health responses to COVID-19 in the Americas: a health policy analysis and recommendations

AUTHOR(S)
Amy Tausch; Renato Oliveira e Souza; Carmen Martinez Viciana (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the mental health of populations in the Americas. Studies show high rates of depression and anxiety, among other psychological symptoms, particularly among women, young people, those with pre-existing mental health conditions, health workers, and persons living in vulnerable conditions. Mental health systems and services have also been severely disrupted. A lack of financial and human resource investments in mental health services, limited implementation of the decentralized community-based care approach and policies to address the mental health gap prior to the pandemic, have all contributed to the current crisis. Countries must urgently strengthen their mental health responses to COVID-19 by taking actions to scale up mental health and psychosocial support services for all, reach marginalized and at-risk populations, and build back better mental health systems and services for the future.
Health disparities and their effects on children and their caregivers during the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lynn C. Smitherman; William Christopher Golden; Jennifer R. Walton

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Clinics of North America

Health disparities are defined as differences among specific populations in the ability to achieve full health potential (as measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions). Among children, multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including economic stability, and access to health care. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, before the current pandemic, 12 million children in the United States were living in poverty in 2019, including one-third of African American and Native American children and 25% of Latinx children.8 During the same period, of the 4.4 million children without health insurance, 14% were Native American, 9% were of Hispanic descent, and 18% were immigrants. At present, owing to the impact of the pandemic on job security, more than 50% of African American, Latinx, and multiethnic adults are now without medical insurance, directly affecting the health security of their children.8 With the onset of the pandemic and the social and political upheaval felt by many disenfranchised communities, these well-documented disparities (and the importance of addressing them) have again been brought to the attention of the medical community. This overview will examine the effects of these health disparities in various populations of children in this country. We will first examine the historical context of health disparities, how they developed, and why they still exist. We will then examine how specifically the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these disparities among children and adolescents, both directly and indirectly. Finally, we hope to provide some recommendations to reduce these disparities.

COVID-19 and UK family carers: policy implications

AUTHOR(S)
Juliana Onwumere; Cathy Creswell; Gill Livingston (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet Psychiatry

Informal (unpaid) carers are an integral part of all societies and the health and social care systems in the UK depend on them. Despite the valuable contributions and key worker status of informal carers, their lived experiences, wellbeing, and needs have been neglected during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Health Policy brings together a broad range of clinicians, researchers, and people with lived experience as informal carers to share their thoughts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK carers, many of whom have felt abandoned as services closed. It focuses on the carers of children and young people and adults and older adults with mental health diagnoses, and carers of people with intellectual disability or neurodevelopmental conditions across different care settings over the lifespan. It provides policy recommendations with the aim of improving outcomes for all carers.



Aligning dissemination and implementation science with health policies to improve children’s mental health

AUTHOR(S)
K. E. Hoagwood; J. Spandorfer; R. Peth-Pierce (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: American Psychologist
The prevalence of mental health problems among children (ages 0–21) in the United States remains unacceptably high and, post-COVID-19, is expected to increase dramatically. Decades of psychological knowledge about effective treatments should inform the delivery of better services. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science has been heralded as a solution to the persistent problem of poor quality services and has, to some extent, improved our understanding of the contexts of delivery systems that implement effective practices. However, there are few studies demonstrating clear, population-level impacts of psychological interventions on children. Momentum is growing among communities, cities, states, and some federal agencies to build “health in all policies” to address broad familial, social, and economic factors known to affect children’s healthy development and mental health.
Modeling the impact of school reopening on SARS-CoV-2 transmission using contact structure data from Shanghai

AUTHOR(S)
Benjamin Lee; John P. Hanley; Sarah Nowak (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: BMC Public Health

Mathematical modeling studies have suggested that pre-emptive school closures alone have little overall impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but reopening schools in the background of community contact reduction presents a unique scenario that has not been fully assessed. This study adapted a previously published model using contact information from Shanghai to model school reopening under various conditions. It investigated different strategies by combining the contact patterns observed between different age groups during both baseline and “lockdown” periods. It also tested the robustness of this strategy to the assumption of lower susceptibility to infection in children under age 15 years.

Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 9 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, health policy, lockdown, public health, school attendance | Countries: China
Leveraging implementation science in the public health response to COVID-19: child food insecurity and federal nutrition assistance programs
Published: October 2020   Journal: Public Health Reports

This commentary aims to examine the crucial role of dissemination and implementation (D&I) science—the study of methods to promote adoption and integration of evidence-based research in real-world policy or practice—to improve public health post–COVID-19. D&I science was created for this very situation, in which scientific knowledge is greatly needed but only if it holds practical relevance for the policy, environmental, and organizational systems that advance health. The paper discusses the application of D&I science to rapid evaluations of federal child nutrition assistance programs deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advancing health equity by translating lessons learned from NICU family visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Emily M. Pang; Rachelle Sey; Theodore De Beritto

Published: September 2020   Journal: NeoReviews
Since its emergence in December 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also referred to as the novel coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19, has created a global pandemic. To date, there are over 15 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 4 million confirmed cases in the United States. (1) Although many questions remain unanswered regarding children affected by the virus, the pandemic has highlighted inequities in the US health care system and has demonstrated the potential of advocacy to influence policy changes. Although the pandemic remains a tremendous challenge, we present a perspective on how lessons we have learned during this pandemic may translate to further advocacy for equity in neonatal care.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 22 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 11 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, health care, health policy, social inequality | Countries: United States
Child healthcare and immunizations in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Danilo Buonsenso; Bianca Cinicola; Memenatu Ngaima Kallon (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics
Since COVID-19 in the pediatric population is infrequently severe, the indirect costs of the pandemic, related to the measures implemented to deal with the spread of the virus, can be worse than the infection itself. To assess this issue, this study evaluates the number of children vaccinated or evaluated for the most common diseases in a poor village in Sierra Leone, showing a worrisome drop in vaccinations performed and children evaluated for acute diseases. Preliminary findings highlight that support is needed to guarantee basic services to children during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in poor settings where preventive measures can be lifesaving in the long term.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 4 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, health policy, health services, vaccination | Countries: Sierra Leone
Fiji gender, disability and inclusion analysis COVID-19 and TC Harold

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Cowley; Sally Baker; Charlie Damon

COVID-19 and TC Harold have severely affected Fijians’ short and long-term resilience as many are resorting to the use of detrimental coping strategies such as reduction in food intake, barter of assets, reduction of expenditure on health or education. Social protection schemes for marginalised groups exist but are limited and access was restricted by COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly for people with disabilities.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.