Changes in mental health problems and related-service use among Canadian children, adolescents and young adults during COVID-19: A living systematic review

Why conduct a living systematic on mental health in Canadian youth?

There is growing concern that the 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had a negative impact on youth mental health and increased service utilization for mental health problems. The small volume and low-quality information on mental health in the context of COVID-19 generated and disseminated through academic and media channels is a significant barrier to effective synthesis and decision making. Only longitudinal studies (or repeated cross-sectional studies of the same population) with pre-pandemic assessments or multiple assessments during COVID-19 can quantify these changes in a clear temporal sequence and account for sources of biases.

 

We are conducting a living systematic review to investigate changes in mental health and related service utilization in Canadian youth aged 0 to 24 years during COVID-19.

 

Because mental health during COVID-19 may differ across countries (i.e., differences in severity of restrictive measures taken to control infections such as school closures, and access to mental health services), we are limiting our search to studies that can provide valuable information to inform Canadians on mental health during COVID-19 and services use. Living systematic reviews are logistically challenging but are very useful when (1) important decisions need to be made that merit necessary resources; (2) low certainty of existing evidence is a barrier to decision making; and (3) emerging evidence can inform decisions, as is the case for mental health during COVID-19.

Objectives of our living systematic review

The objectives of our living systematic review are to assess:

  1. Changes in mental health (e.g., symptoms or diagnoses assessed with a validated instrument);
  2. Changes in health service utilization (e.g., emergency department visits, emergency calls to hotlines)
 

This review differs from that of Thombs et al. in that it will only include Canadian studies; expand the search to other mental health outcomes not included in this review (eg, eating disorders, suicidal behaviors); and will include analyzes of changes in the use of mental health services.

To date we have:

Number of title/abstract reviewed

0

Number of articles reviewed

0

Changes in Mental Health Problems

Number of articles for full text review:

294

Number of articles fully reviewed:

2

Number of eligible studies:

0

Number of articles from which data was extracted:

0

Changes in Health Service Utilization

Number of articles for full text review:

36

Number of articles fully reviewed:

0

Number of eligible studies:

0

Number of articles from which data was extracted:

0

Our team:

Jil Boruff,

McGill University

Nicholas Chadi, Ph. D.

Université de Montréal

Sylvana Côté, Ph. D.

Université de Montréal

Srividya Narayanan Iyer, Ph. D.

McGill University

Julia Fuoco,

McGill University

Tianna Loose, Ph. D.

Université de Montréal

Ying Sun,

Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital

Brett Thombs, Ph. D.

McGill University

Élise Chartrand MSc

Senior research assistant

Samantha Bouchard BA

MA student in
School and Applied Child Psychology
McGill University

Our partners: