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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parents’ experiences regarding neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic: country-specific findings of a multinational survey

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Kostenzer; Charlotte von Rosenstiel-Pulver; Julia Hoffmann (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems, challenging neonatal care provision globally. Curtailed visitation policies are known to negatively affect the medical and emotional care of sick, preterm and low birth weight infants, compromising the achievement of the 2030 Development Agenda. Focusing on infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC), we explored parents’ experiences of the disruptions affecting newborns in need of special or intensive care during the first year of the pandemic. Cross-sectional study using an electronic, web-based questionnaire.

Becoming a mother during COVID-19 pandemic: how to protect maternal mental health against stress factors

AUTHOR(S)
Hugo Bottemanne; Brune Vahdat; Cleo Jouault (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were an increasing prevalence of perinatal psychiatric symptoms, such as perinatal anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders. This growth could be caused by a range of direct and indirect stress factors related to the virus and changes in health, social and economic organization. This review explores the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal mental health, and proposes a range of hypothesis about their etiological mechanisms. It suggests first that the fear of being infected or infected others (intrauterine transmission, passage of the virus from mother to baby during childbirth, infection through breast milk), and the uncertainty about the effect of the virus on the fetuses and infants may have played a key-role to weakening the mental health of mothers. It also highlights that public health policies such as lockdown, limiting prenatal visits, social distancing measures, and their many associated socio-economic consequences (unemployment, loss of income, and domestic violence) may have been an additional challenge for perinatal mental health. Ground on these hypotheses, it finally purposes some recommendations to protect perinatal mental health during a pandemic, including a range of specific support based on digital technologies (video consultations, phone applications) during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Do not forget the children: a model-based analysis on the potential impact of COVID-19-associated interruptions in paediatric HIV prevention and care

AUTHOR(S)
Clare F. Flanagan; Nicole McCann; John Stover (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: https://doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25864

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and children globally, disrupting antiretroviral therapy (ART) services and exacerbating pre-existing barriers to care for both pregnant women and paediatric populations. This study used the Spectrum modelling package and the CEPAC-Pediatric model to project the impact of COVID-19-associated care disruptions on three key populations in the 21 Global Plan priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa: (1) pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV and their children, (2) all children (aged 0–14 years) living with HIV (CLWH), regardless of their engagement in care and (3) CLWH who were engaged in care and on ART prior to the start of the pandemic. The study projected clinical outcomes over the 12-month period of 1 March 2020 to 1 March 2021.

Large gaps in the quality of healthcare experienced by Swedish mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study based on WHO standards

AUTHOR(S)
Mehreen Zaigham; Karolina Linden; Verena Sengpie (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Women and Birth

To describe the quality of care during pregnancy and childbirth, as reported by the women themselves, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, using the WHO ‘Standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn care in health facilities’. Using an anonymous, online questionnaire, women ≥18 years were invited to participate if they had given birth in Sweden from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The quality of maternal and newborn care was measured using 40 questions across four domains: provision of care, experience of care, availability of human/physical resources, and organisational changes due to COVID-19.

Reconfiguring home: seeing remote work and school through mothers and their children
Published: December 2021   Journal: Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
What happens when we include children as equal participants? In a project to identify design opportunities to support working mothers during a time when schools have closed across the U.S. in response to COVID-19, this study crafted the research to create space for children to voice their needs. Opportunities for all parties involved have been offered—the designers, the researchers, and the moms who participated.
Exploring the lived experiences of pregnant women and community health care providers during the pandemic of COVID-19 in Bangladesh through a phenomenological analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Sadika Akhter; Feroza Akhter Kumkum; Farzana Bashar (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Like many countries, the government of Bangladesh also imposed stay-at-home orders to restrict the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (COVID-19) in March, 2020. Epidemiological studies were undertaken to estimate the early possible unforeseen effects on maternal mortality due to the disruption of services during the lockdown. Little is known about the constraints faced by the pregnant women and community health workers in accessing and providing basic obstetric services during the pandemic in the country. This study was conducted to explore the lived experience of pregnant women and community health care providers from two southern districts of Bangladesh during the pandemic of COVID-19. The study participants were recruited through purposive sampling and non-structured in-depth interviews were conducted. Data was collected over the telephone from April to June, 2020. The data collected was analyzed through a phenomenological approach.

COVID-19 infection in newborns

AUTHOR(S)
Jeffrey M. Perlman; Christine Salvatore

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinics in Perinatology
The COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread worldwide with heavy consequences on global public health during the past 1.5 years. During this time it has become apparent that adults with co-morbidities have the highest risk for severe disease and death, meanwhile it became clearer that children, even though not immune from acquiring the infection, had a less severe presentation and outcome compared to adults. Seroprevalence from some reports seems similar to adults, but the observed cases are less, indicating most likely that children are asymptomatic or very mildly ill to draw medical attention and to be tested.
Neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic - a global survey of parents’ experiences regarding infant and family-centred developmental care

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Kostenzer; Julia Hoffmann; Charlotte von Rosenstiel-Pulver (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affect provision and quality of neonatal care. This global study explores parents’ experiences regarding the impact of the restrictions on key characteristics of infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC) during the first year of the pandemic. For this cross-sectional study, a pre-tested online survey with 52 questions and translated into 23 languages was used to collect data between August and November 2020. Parents of sick or preterm infants born during the pandemic and receiving special/intensive care were eligible for participation. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and statistical testing based on different levels of restrictive measures.
Experiences of nurses caring for perinatal women and newborns during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A descriptive qualitative study

AUTHOR(S)
Hee Sun Kang; Yedong Son; Mi Ja Kim (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Nursing Open

Nurses are pivotal in caring for patients infected with COVID-19. Little is known about experiences of nurses in maternity care during the pandemic. Therefore, this study aimed to describe nurses’ experiences of caring for perinatal women and newborns during the pandemic. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted. Data were collected from August–November 2020 using focus group and in-depth interviews. A total of 24 nurses working in maternity and newborn care units participated in the study. Content analysis method was used for data analysis.

Pregnant in the United States in the COVID-19 pandemic: a collision of crises we cannot ignore

AUTHOR(S)
Pamela Stratton; Elena Gorodetsky; Janine Clayton

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of the National Medical Association

The COVID-19 pandemic and call for social justice is occurring when the United States, unlike its peer countries, has already experienced a steady 20-year rise in maternal morbidity and mortality with pregnant women today facing a 50 percent higher risk of mortality than their mothers.  Most vulnerable are women of color, black and American Indian/Alaska Native women, who have experienced longstanding disparities in access to and quality of healthcare and may begin pregnancy with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, complications known to be more common in women enduring segregation. Initially, the race-related health disparities and resultant disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases and mortality in indigenous communities and black, latins, or other communities of color were mistakenly considered innate racial differences. More recently, these higher rates have been attributed to underlying social, structural, and environmental determinants of health including resource inequities, inadequate housing, and occupational and environmental hazards that result in greater exposure to and less protection from COVID-19.

Evaluation of the anxiety level of mothers of children with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic period

AUTHOR(S)
Halil Celik; Sadettin Burak Acikel; Fatih Mehmet Akif Ozdemir (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: European Neurology
Although anyone can be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may cause additional concern for people with chronic conditions. Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in childhood and adolescence. The aim of this study was to determine anxiety levels among the mothers of children under follow-up for epilepsy in our clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promoting children's mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health in all public systems, post-COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood; William Gardner; Kelly J. Kelleher

Published: April 2021   Journal: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health problems of children and adolescents in the United States (U.S.). A collective and coordinated national economic and social reconstruction efort aimed at shoring up services to promote children’s MEB, like the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe post-World War II, has been proposed to buttress against the expected retrenchment. The plan prioritizes children’s well-being as a social objective.
Monitoring progress of maternal and neonatal immunization in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Martha Velandia-González; Alba Vilajeliu; Marcela Contreras (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Vaccine
The Americas committed to strengthening maternal and neonatal immunization (MNI) through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Immunization Action Plan (RIAP)2016–20. This paper describes the progress toward RIAP MNI-related targets and those related to improvement of data quality and information systems; analyze national MNI policies and vaccination coverages; and identify enablers and challenges of monitoring and reporting MNI vaccination coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Health anxiety and related factors among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study from Iran

AUTHOR(S)
Najmieh Saadati; Poorandokht Afshari; Hatam Boostani

Published: February 2021   Journal: BMC Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many countries around the world and Iran was no exception. The aim of this study was to evaluate health anxiety of Iranian pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pregnant women’s daily patterns of well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland: longitudinal monitoring through smartwatch technology

AUTHOR(S)
Hannakaisa Niela-Vile´n; Jennifer Auxier; Eeva Ekholm (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Plos One
Technology enables the continuous monitoring of personal health parameter data during pregnancy regardless of the disruption of normal daily life patterns. Our research group has established a project investigating the usefulness of an Internet of Things–based system and smartwatch technology for monitoring women during pregnancy to explore variations in stress, physical activity and sleep. The aim of this study was to examine daily patterns of well-being in pregnant women before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland.
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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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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.