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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Maternal and child health and the Covid-19 pandemic: a systematic review of the literature

Maria Graziele Gonçalves Silva; Bárbara Letícia Silvestre Rodrigues; Paloma Beatriz Costa Silva (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: International Journal of Health Science
This study aims to describe the impacts arising from the interference of the infection caused by COVID-19 in the woman's gestational process, considering the mother-child binomial and their fetal interaction. This is a systematic review according to the PRISMA protocol, based on Scielo, PubMed and LILACS, considering publications between January 2020 and June 2021. The descriptors pregnancy, COVID-19, newborn and maternal and child health were used. Articles were selected by reading the title, abstract and methodology.
Barriers to health-care access amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in children with non-coronavirus disease illnesses from India

Abhineet Mathur; Priyanka Meena; Jerin C. Sekhar (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Applied Sciences and Clinical Practice
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the nationwide lockdown have resulted in profound disruptions in health care. Thus, the study was done to assess the barriers faced by caregivers of children with chronic diseases in accessing healthcare services due to the lockdown. A questionnaire-based telephonic survey was performed after 2 months of nationwide lockdown in children with chronic diseases at a tertiary hospital in India. Barriers faced were recorded and compared with the place of residence and socioeconomic status (SES).
Mental health challenges during COVID-19: perspectives from parents with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

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

Published: October 2022   Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being

The global pandemic and subsequent denials, delays, and disruptions in essential daily activities created significant challenges for children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and their parents. Public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic limited access to supports and services required by children with NDDs to maintain their health and well-being.Objective: This study sought to understand the impacts of these public health measures and restrictions on mental health from the perspective of parents with children with NDDs to inform pathways for public health policies responsive to the needs of this population.

"Everything kind of revolves around technology": a qualitative exploration of families' screen use experiences, and intervention suggestions

Lauren Arundell; Laura Gould; Nicola D. Ridgers (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

Managing children’s screen time is challenging for most families. Interventions have had limited success in reducing screen time, potentially due to a lack of understanding of the experiences, needs and recommendations of families. This study aimed to 1) understand the screen time experiences of families, particularly during COVID-19 lockdowns; and 2) explore parent and child suggestions for the design, components, and content of a screen time management program. Parents and children from 30 families living in Victoria, Australia completed a semi-structured interview (63 interviews) via Zoom in October–November 2021. Parents were maged 40.8 (± 8.9) years and predominantly female (90%). Children were maged 11.4 (± 2.4) years and 47% female. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis combined with a summative content analysis approach.

Public health communication: Attitudes, experiences, and lessons learned from users of a COVID-19 digital triage tool for children

Janet Michel; Julia Rehsmann; Annette Mettler (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

The pandemic has made public health communication even more daunting because acceptance and implementation of official guidelines and recommendations hinge on this. The situation becomes even more precarious when children are involved. Our child-specific COVID-19 online forward triage tool (OFTT) revealed some of the public health communication challenges. This study aimed to explore attitudes, experiences, and challenges faced by OFTT users and their families, in regard to public health recommendations. It selected key informants (n = 20) from a population of parents, teachers, guardians, as well as doctors who had used the child-specific COVID-19 OFTT and had consented to a further study. Videos rather than face-face interviews were held. Convenience and quota sampling were performed to include a variety of key informants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes.

Maternal and newborn healthcare providers' work-related experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their physical, psychological, and economic impacts: findings from a global online survey

Delphin Kolié; Aline Semaan; Louise-Tina Day (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Plos Global Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have substantial impacts on health systems globally. This study describes experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical, psychological and economic impacts among maternal and newborn healthcare providers. We conducted a global online cross-sectional survey of maternal and newborn healthcare providers. Data collected between July and December 2020 included demographic characteristics, work-related experiences, and physical, psychological, and economic impacts of COVID-19. Descriptive statistics of quantitative data and content analysis of qualitative data were conducted. Findings were disaggregated by country income-level.
Feeding practices in public hospitals' neonatal intensive care units: An exploration into the ways in which COVID-19 affected the best practice in Gauteng

Kim A. Coutts; Joanne Neille; Nicole Louw

Published: July 2022   Journal: South African Journal of Communication Disorders

South Africa’s healthcare system has a multitude of pre-existing challenges prior to the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, ranging from reduced number of staff, lack of resources and units being at overcapacity both in the adult and paediatric populations. The neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) require a team approach to ensure best practice with vulnerable infants, but little is known about how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown restrictions impacted the feeding practices within the NICU. This study aimed to explore the impact that COVID-19 had on the feeding practices within the NICU settings in public hospitals in Gauteng. A qualitative design was employed with data collected in two NICUs in Gauteng. Data were collected in the form of observations and semi-structured interviews with healthcare workers (HCWs) in the NICU. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Are the kids alright? Key messages from the third round of the public health Scotland COVID-19 early years resilience and impact survey
Institution: Public Health Scotland
Published: June 2022
The COVID-19 Early Years Resilience and Impact Survey (CEYRIS) is an anonymous, cross-sectional survey administered online. PHS developed the survey to address a gap in the evidence base about wider impacts of the pandemic on young children and their families in Scotland. To date, there have been three rounds of the survey completed. Round 1 in June/July 2020, Round 2 in November/December 2020 and Round 3 in September/October 2021.
Keeping essential reproductive, maternal and child health services available during COVID-19 in Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe: analysis of early-pandemic policy guidelines

Marya K. Plotkin; Katie M. Williams; Absolom Mbinda (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the provision of essential reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) services in sub-Saharan Africa to varying degrees. Original models estimated as many as 1,157,000 additional child and 56,700 maternal deaths globally due to health service interruptions. To reduce potential impacts to populations related to RMNCH service delivery, national governments in Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe swiftly issued policy guidelines related to essential RMNCH services during COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued recommendations to guide countries in preserving essential health services by June of 2020.
18 months lost and found: reflections from a transnational participatory action research project exploring young people's lived experiences of the COVID-19 crisis

Laurie Day; Barry Percy-Smith; Sara Rizzo (et al.)

Published: March 2022

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Growing-up Under COVID-19 was a transnational action research project, which aimed to provide insights to the impact of the public health crisis on young people’s lives, and to inform the development of appropriate tools and measures to safeguard children’s wellbeing and rights during and beyond the pandemic.

Assessment of maternal and child health care services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: evidence from routine service data

Senedu Bekele Gebreegziabher; Solomon Sisay Marrye; Tsegaye Hailu Kumssa (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Reproductive Health volume

In many settings, health care service provision has been modified to managing COVID-19 cases, and this has been affecting the provision of maternal and child health services. The aim of this study was to assess trends in selected maternal and child health services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional data review was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April to May 2021. Routine health management information system database was reviewed from Addis Ababa Health Bureau for the period from July 2019 to March 2021 across all quarters. Proportion and mean with standard deviation were computed. T-test was used to assess statistically significant differences in services mean performance.

Increased gaming during COVID-19 predicts physical inactivity among youth in Norway: a two-wave longitudinal cohort study

Ellen Haug; Silje Mæland; Stine Lehmann (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

This paper aimed to examine the stability and change in internet and offline gaming and the association with physical inactivity among adolescents in Norway during the pandemic. A total of 2940 youth (58% girls) aged 12–19 years participated in an online longitudinal two-wave survey during the first Norwegian national lockdown in April 2020 (t1) and in December 2020 (t2). Gaming behavior and physical activity status were assessed at both time points. Age, gender, and socioeconomic status were included as covariates.

A successful collaboration between an urban school district, a health system, and a Public health department to address COVID-19 while returning children to the classroom

Katherine A. Auger; Margaret Hall; Susan Bunte (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Community Health
This research sought to create and implement a set of COVID-19 mitigation processes including reliable testing to minimize in-school transmission of SARS-CoV-2. A large urban school district (> 33,000 students), a city health department, and a free-standing children’s hospital partnered to implement multi-layered mitigation procedures which included access to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing with same day or next morning results. They tracked COVID-19 cases as well as probable/confirmed transmissions and identified needed mitigations through frequent huddles. During the 2020–2021 school year, there were 13 weeks of hybrid in person learning and 9 weeks of 5 day a week learning.
SARS-CoV-2 infections and public health responses in schools and early childhood education and care centres in Victoria, Australia: an observational study

Kathleen Ryan; Kathryn Snow; Margie Danchin (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
The epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in children is an important consideration for control measures. To inform the safe re-opening of Victorian schools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) in late 2020, a detailed analysis of local data was undertaken. Data on all Victorian SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases, their close contacts, and ECEC/school events from the first case in Victoria to the end of the third school term (25/01/2020 – 18/09/2020) were analysed. This study compared temporal and geographic trends in cases linked to ECEC/school events and community cases; and describe events with onward transmission by age of first case, and public health actions.
Large gaps in the quality of healthcare experienced by Swedish mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study based on WHO standards

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.

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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.