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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Alliance between therapist and multi-stressed families during the COVID-19 pandemic: the effect of family-based videoconferencing

Aurelie. M. C. Lange; Marc J. M. H. Delsing; Marieke van Geffen (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child & Youth Care Forum

A strong therapeutic alliance or working relationship is essential for effective face-to-face family-based psychotherapy. However, little is known about the use of VC on alliance in family-based therapy. The recent COVID-19 pandemic led to a national lockdown during which most family-based therapy transferred to VC. The current study analyzed the development and strength of alliance prior and during lockdown for multi-stressed families participating in Multisystemic Therapy (MST).

The association between the COVID-19 pandemic and postpartum care provision

Allie Sakowicz; Chloe N. Matovina; Sidney K. Imeroni (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid transformation of the healthcare system in order to mitigate viral exposure. In the perinatal context, one change included altering the prenatal visit cadence and utilizing more telehealth methods. Whether this approach had inadvertent negative implications for postpartum care, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, is unknown. To examine whether preventative health service utilization, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, differed during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to a pre-pandemic period.

The digital divide between high school students in Colombia

Frederick Andrés Mendoza-Lozano; Jose Wilmar Quintero-Peña; Jose Felix García-Rodríguez

Published: August 2021   Journal: Telecommunications Policy
By extracting information from Saber 11 Tests taken by high school students close to finishing that educational period in Colombia, the digital divide evolution over time and its determinants are analyzed using a probabilistic model and the calculation of georeferenced concentration indexes. The topic is relevant as previous studies have shown a positive relationship between access to ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), educational achievement, and economic growth.
Growth assessment of children during the COVID-19 pandemic—Can we rely on parental measurements?

Ariel Tenenbaum; Noa Shefer-Averbuch; Liora Lazar (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Acta Paediatrica

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the rapid development of remote medical services. During lockdown periods, children's growth data were obtained from parents’ home assessments. This study aimed to assess the accuracy of home height and weight measurements and analyse their utility in clinical decision-making. A retrospective, single-centre observational study. Children aged 3–18 years were measured for weight and height at home using guidance provided to parents on proper measurements techniques before subsequent professional re-evaluation at our endocrine institution clinic. The two sets of measurements were compared and analysed according to various clinical parameters.

Pain management in children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patricia A. Richardson; Anjana Kundu

Published: July 2021   Journal: Current Anesthesiology Reports
For many children, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has impacted the experience and treatment of their pain. This narrative review draws from the pain literature and emerging findings from COVID-19 research to highlight potentially meaningful directions for clinical consideration and empirical inquiry in the months and years to come. COVID-19 has been linked to diffuse acute pains as well as chronic pain sequelae. Contextual factors known to increase vulnerability for pain and associated functional disability have been exacerbated during the pandemic. Beyond these salient concerns has been the remarkable resilience demonstrated by patients and providers as healthcare systems have sought to harness creativity and innovative digital solutions to support optimal child wellbeing throughout this crisis.
Parent and adolescent perspectives on the impact of COVID on the care of seriously ill children

Leah J. Beight; Gabrielle Helton; Madeline Avery (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Few studies have explored the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) on the care of seriously ill children which may be especially affected due to the child's vulnerability, complexity of care, and high reliance on hospital-based care. This study aims to explore parental and adolescent perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on care of seriously children.

Adaptation of cognitive behaviour therapy for autistic children during the pandemic: a mixed-methods program evaluation

Vivian Lee; Flora Roudbarani; Paula Tablon Modica (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Distancing requirements due to the pandemic have halted many in-person therapeutic programs, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), increasing the likelihood that autistic children with mental health problems will struggle without adequate access to evidence-based care. Policies meant to limit the spread of COVID have inadvertently exacerbated the difficulties experienced by autistic children and further exposed them to vulnerabilities that will impact their mental health. In response, interventions have been adapted for remote delivery. There is limited evidence of the acceptability, feasibility, and clinical utility for treating mental health challenges in autistic children through an online medium, within the context of a pandemic. The current study used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to assess parents’ experience as they participated in an adapted manualized CBT program (Secret Agent Society: Operation Regulation, SAS:OR; Beaumont, 2013) with their autistic child.
Boom boom in the zoom zoom room: online music therapy with children and adolescents with visual impairment

Bill Ahessy

Published: July 2021   Journal: British Journal of Visual Impairment
The COVID-19 pandemic created a major transformation in the delivery of music therapy services worldwide as they moved online. Telehealth research is in its infancy and online work with children and adolescents with visual impairment has yet to be investigated. This survey-based study explored the experiences and perceptions of parents of children and adolescents with visual impairment (n = 11) who engaged in online music therapy.
Widespread implementation of a low-cost telehealth service in the delivery of antenatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic: an interrupted time-series analysis

Kirsten R. Palmer; Michael Tanner; Miranda Davies-Tuck (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Lancet Journal
Little evidence is available on the use of telehealth for antenatal care. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this study developed and implemented a new antenatal care schedule integrating telehealth across all models of pregnancy care. To inform this clinical initiative, it aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of telehealth in antenatal care.
Promoting physical activity participation and nutrition education through a telehealth intervention for children on the autism spectrum and their caregivers

Leah R. Ketcheson; E. Andrew Pitchford

Published: July 2021   Journal: Contemporary Clinical Trials
There is growing empirical support which suggests children on the autism spectrum, as well as their caregivers experience significant health disparities. The global COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the need to address health among vulnerable populations. While there has been a growing trend in the delivery of telehealth interventions, the delivery of such methods for children on the autism spectrum, and their caregivers remains relatively under examined. The primary goal of PLANE (Physical Literacy And Nutrition Education) is to promote positive trajectories of health for children on the autism spectrum and their primary caregivers through the delivery of a telehealth physical activity and nutrition education program. The study is a pre-experimental analysis of PLANE across 12 months.
Feasibility and acceptability of a synchronous online parent-mediated early intervention for children with autism in a low resource setting during COVID-19 pandemic

Koyeli Sengupta; Aakankshi Javeri; Cristabelle Mascarenhas (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: International Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Very few studies exist on tele-health models of parent-mediated interventions delivered in low resource developing countries. The global COVID-19 pandemic catalysed a pilot of an online delivery of an evidence-based parent-mediated intervention (Project ImPACT) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mumbai, India. Context and culture-specific adaptations were made in program structure and a mixed-methods approach was adopted to evaluate acceptability, feasibility and preliminary efficacy of this model. Quantitative results (n = 12) showed excellent completion rates, with significant improvement in parent fidelity to intervention and child social-communication skills. Analysis of qualitative data from focus groups with parents on completion revealed that parents found the online mode convenient and acceptable, found the synchronous model of sessions especially beneficial and perceived improvements in their own parenting skills and children’s developmental profiles.
Is this the ‘new normal’? A mixed method investigation of young person, parent and clinician experience of online eating disorder treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Catherine Stewart; Anna Konstantellou; Fatema Kassamali (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research in virtual care for young people with eating disorders was preliminary and implementation rare. This study explored the experience of young people, parents and clinicians when therapy was transitioned to virtual provision as a result of the UK lockdown in March 2020. A mixed-method approach was used in this study. Online questionnaires that included a mixture of rating (Likert scale) and free-text response questions were completed by 53 young people with any eating disorder, 75 parents and 23 clinicians. Questions focused on the experience of online treatment as well as the impact on engagement, perceived treatment efficacy and preferences around treatment mode in the future. Likert scale questions were analysed using a summary approach. Free-text responses were analysed qualitatively using reflexive thematic analysis.

Telehealth delivery of a behavioral parent training program to Spanish-speaking Latinx parents of young children with developmental delay: applying an implementation framework approach

Laura Lee McIntyre; Cameron L. Neece; Catherine M. Sanner (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: School Psychology Review
Families play an important role in supporting children’s learning and behavioral health. School psychologists are ideally situated to promote family–school partnerships, home–school collaboration, and enhance positive parenting practices on behalf of students. When American schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many families experienced increased stress and caregiving burden associated with supporting their children at home. A behavioral parent training program via telehealth was delivered to 42 Spanish-speaking Latinx parents of preschool children with developmental delay (DD) and elevated behavior problems during the pandemic. An implementation framework was used to examine acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, and implementation cost of the telehealth approach for this sample.
Improving clinical paediatric research and learning from COVID-19: recommendations by the Conect4Children expert advice group

Athimalaipet V. Ramanan; Neena Modi; Saskia N. de Wildt (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Pediatric Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on multiple aspects of healthcare, but has also triggered new ways of working, stimulated novel approaches in clinical research and reinforced the value of previous innovations. Conect4children (c4c, is a large collaborative European network to facilitate the development of new medicines for paediatric populations, and is made up of 35 academic and 10 industry partners from 20 European countries, more than 50 third parties, and around 500 affiliated partners. This study summarises aspects of clinical research in paediatrics stimulated and reinforced by COVID-19 that the Conect4children group recommends regulators, sponsors, and investigators retain for the future, to enhance the efficiency, reduce the cost and burden of medicines and non-interventional studies, and deliver research-equity.

Early childhood educators’ perceptions of their emotional state, relationships with parents, challenges, and opportunities during the early stage of the pandemic

Nathalie Bigras; Lise Lemay; Joanne Lehrer (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This article presents a study about the impact of COVID-19 on childcare center educators in Quebec (Canada). Regulated childcare services were closed due to the pandemic between March 16 and May 31, 2020, in areas considered “hot” (highly affected by the pandemic). During this time, some centers were transformed into “emergency childcare services” available to parents considered to be essential workers. Therefore, few children attended, and most educators worked remotely. In May 2020, 372 educators completed an online questionnaire regarding their emotional state, challenges, and learning opportunities. Results indicate that half of the respondents reported a decrease in their level of well-being at work and an increase in their stress level.
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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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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.