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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Home direct-to-consumer telehealth solutions for children with mental health disorders and the impact of Covid-19

Sierra Norman; Shireen Atabaki; Kathleen Atmore (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Clinical child psychology and psychiatry
Delivery of mental health treatment in the home can close gaps in care. Telehealth also provides access to healthcare that has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, a home direct-to-consumer telehealth program was initiated. Mental health encounters made up a significant portion of all telehealth encounters and COVID-19 had a significant impact on accelerating the utilization of telehealth. Telemental health has been more successful at meeting targeted volumes than the overall health system. Of all the mental health diagnoses before and during COVID-19, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder were most common. The direct-to-consumer telehealth program saved patients a significant amount of travel miles and associated time, based on data from the period before COVID-19. Payment reimbursement for direct-to-consumer telehealth professional services was similar to reimbursement for in-person visits. This program demonstrates direct-to-consumer telehealth is a feasible and acceptable care modality for a variety of youth mental health disorders.
Harnessing the power of telemedicine to accomplish international pediatric outcome research during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah B. Mulkey; Margarita Arroyave-Wessel; Colleen Peyton (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of telemedicine and telecare
The COVID-19 pandemic occurred during planned neurodevelopmental follow-up of Colombian children with antenatal Zika-virus exposure. The objective of the study was to leverage the institution's telemedicine infrastructure to support international clinical child outcome research. In a prospective cohort study of child neurodevelopment (NCT04398901), we used synchronous telemedicine to remotely train a research team and perform live observational assessments of children in Sabanalarga, Colombia. An observational motor and conceptional standardized tool kit was mailed to Colombia; other materials were translated and emailed; team training was done virtually. Children were recruited by team on the ground. Synchronous activities were video-recorded directly to two laptops, each with a telehealth Zoom link to allow simultaneous evaluation of "table" and "standing" activities, and backup recordings were captured directly on the device in Colombia.
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.
Telehealth adaptation of perinatal mental health mother–infant group programming for the COVID-19 pandemic

Jennifer J. Paul; Shaleah Dardar; Laura M. River (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing isolation stressed pregnant and postpartum women and their families pervasively. This necessitated addressing young families’ mental health needs while protecting both patients and providers from COVID-19 exposure. Our experience of rapidly adapting Pregnancy, Maternal Postpartum Peer Support, and Mother–Infant Postpartum Group interventions to high-quality telehealth modalities elucidates benefits and challenges of mother–infant dyadic treatment amidst the pandemic. This study compares 2019 in-person and 2020 telehealth services during the period from mid-March through mid-December in each year. Initial program Warmline contacts were similar across years despite pandemic-related restrictions, with 2020 program contacts surpassing the 147 unique patient outreaches during the commensurate 2019 period.
Remote provision of breastfeeding support and education: systematic review and meta-analysis

Anna Gavine; Joyce Marshall; Phyll Buchanan (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Maternal & Child Nutrition
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a substantial increase in remotely provided maternity care services, including breastfeeding support. It is, therefore, important to understand whether breastfeeding support provided remotely is an effective method of support. To determine if breastfeeding support provided remotely is an effective method of support. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. Twenty-nine studies were included in the review and 26 contributed data to the meta-analysis.
Little girl, big feelings: online child psychotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sabrina Udwin; Tatianna Kufferath-Lin; Tracy A. Prout (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy
The COVID-19 crisis has provided unique opportunities for the expansion of telepsychotherapy services. To date, the extant literature on telepsychotherapy has not included many strategies for effective telepsychotherapy with youth and families. This paper examines the evolution of a play psychotherapy case conducted fully online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A review of the telepsychotherapy literature is provided and multiple aspects of online psychotherapy are explored within the context of a completed, online psychotherapy treatment with one eight-year-old girl with externalizing symptoms. This case study is the first start-to-finish online case of Regulation Focused Psychotherapy for Children, and to our knowledge one of the few known case studies of a completed, fully online, child psychotherapy case. Clinical vignettes illustrate how the therapist’s interpretation of the child’s defenses within an online modality allowed the child to progress in her ability to tolerate painful emotions. In addition, countertransference reactions of a novice therapist, treating her first psychotherapy patient, are highlighted. This unique case study provides support for the value of an online, play-based treatment for children with behavioral issues and their families.
The parenting skill development and education service: Telehealth support for families at risk of child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alison Fogarty; Andi Jones; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
Children are at heightened risk of maltreatment during community wide crises. The Parenting Skill Development and Education (PSDE) Service is a 6-week telehealth intervention designed and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to support families with young children in Australia at risk of child maltreatment. This study aimed to conduct a formative review of the PSDE service to (a) describe families accessing the PSDE during the pandemic, (b) determine parent and referrers' satisfaction of the service and (c) explore clinicians' experiences of service delivery. A mixed-method study design incorporating the analysis of routinely collected data, and qualitative interviews with clinicians was conducted.
Lessons from COVID-19 and the practice of school psychology: opportunity for a changed landscape

Chelsea Hyde; Vicki McKenzie; Cheree Murrihy

Published: November 2021   Journal: Australian Psychologist

Due to the COVID pandemic psychologists have been required to rapidly adapt to a different type of service delivery to ensure safety of the public and maintain the provision of essential psychological services within schools. In response, telehealth or online counselling became the norm across much of Australia. Psychologists in school settings were required to move many traditional face-to-face psychological services online to continue to support the needs of school communities. This project aimed to identify changes made to the practice of school psychology during COVID, the efficacy of these changes and potential applications within the field post COVID. Registered psychologists working in school settings across Australia were invited to participate in an online survey. Fifty-six participants completed questions related to their school psychological practice during COVID, they also completed the Counsellor’s Crisis Self Efficacy Scale, rating their level of confidence to respond in a crisis.

Experiences in Performing Online Developmental Evaluations of Children From the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gail S. Ross; Jeffrey M. Perlman

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinical Pediatrics
The Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has created a major shift from onsite examination evaluations in all but the most critical cases to telemedicine visits via secure online portals. The ability to track graduates of neonatal intensive care who are at increased risk for developmental deficits is essential in order to provide early targeted interventions. Thus, there was a critical need to adapt in situ cognitive, language and behavior evaluations of these children to an online testing model that could provide reliable findings, particularly in identifying children with apparent or obvious developmental issues. This brief report describes the effort to develop online assessments of cognitive and language development of high-risk infants at 18 months post-conceptual age, 3 years and 6 years old.
Telecommuting and gender inequalities in parents' paid and unpaid work before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Thomas Lyttelton; Emma Zang; Kelly Musick

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family

This study examines the relationship between telecommuting and gender inequalities in parents' time use at home and on the job before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommuting is a potential strategy for addressing the competing demands of work and home and the gendered ways in which they play out. Limited evidence is mixed, however, on the implications of telecommuting for mothers' and fathers' time in paid and unpaid work. The massive increase in telecommuting due to COVID-19 underscores the critical need to address this gap in the literature.

How to make the best of it? Promoting occupational engagement of children during lockdown – case examples from South Africa, the United States of America and Germany

Ina Roosen; Liani Austin; Elizabeth W. Stevens-Nafai

Published: October 2021   Journal: World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin
This article highlights the experiences of three occupational therapists, working in different settings while facing the challenges of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each case is an example of how to promote engagement of children and their families: in a private practice setting in South Africa, in a public school practice setting in the USA and an educational project for OT students in Germany. The three cases are the result of the professional exchange of ideas. They show creative ways of how technological tools and social media can be used professionally for virtual occupational therapy sessions, student and parent education. The challenges and benefits of virtual occupational therapy are discussed. In all three cases, virtual interventions led to a feeling of connectedness through occupation for the children, their families, occupational therapy students and practitioners themselves.
iCOPE with COVID-19: a brief telemental health intervention for children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Michelle S. Zepeda; Stephanie Deighton; Veronika Markova (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Cognitive and Behavioral Practice
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted unprecedented disruptions to the daily lives of children and adolescents worldwide, which has been associated with an increase of anxiety and depressive symptoms in youth. However, due to public health measures, in-person psychosocial care has been affected causing barriers to mental health care access. This study investigated the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of iCOPE with COVID-19, a brief telemental health intervention for children and adolescents to address anxiety symptoms. Sessions were provided exclusively using videoconferencing technology. Feasibility and acceptability were measured with client satisfaction data.
Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings

Alison Fogarty; Priscilla Savopoulos; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal:

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many therapeutic services for children and their parents who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were required to rapidly transition to telehealth. The current study aims to explore parents' experiences of participating in a parent-child telehealth intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also aimed at exploring clinicians' experiences of delivering the service, including key strengths and challenges. Participants were five mothers who took part in Berry Street's Restoring Childhood service during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, and 14 Restoring Childhood clinicians, delivering the service across metropolitan and regional sites

The role of telemedicine in child and adolescent healthcare in India

Preeti M. Galagali; Sreyoshi Ghosh; Hemant Bhargav

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Pediatrics Reports

This study highlights the evolution and use of telemedicine in child and adolescent healthcare in India, in pre and post pandemic eras. The latest research endorses telemedicine as a successful strategy in resource-limited settings to provide accessible and equitable healthcare. Telemedicine was initiated in India in 2001. The pandemic restrictions resulted in an increase in its use. The national telemedicine and telepsychiatry guidelines facilitated and enabled its widespread use. Telehealth was used by private and public health establishments, in urban, rural, and remote areas. It was used for triaging cases; managing and monitoring COVID patients in home isolation, in non-COVID medical and psychiatric care, and follow-up; continuing medical education; and health promotion strategies like teleyoga.

A telehealth intervention for ensuring continuity of care of pediatric obesity during the CoVid-19 lockdown in Italy

Pierluigi Pecoraro; Francesca Gallè; Espedita Muscariello (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Restriction measures adopted during the Coronavirus Disease-19 pandemic favored unhealthy behaviors. Tele-health offered the opportunity to pursue alternative ways of chronic diseases management. This retrospective study sought to determine the effects of a telehealth counselling intervention during the lockdown to children and adolescents with obesity previously engaged in a family-based secondary care program in an outpatient clinic of South Italy.
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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.