About this Research Topic
It has become clear that timely research is necessary to guide healthcare and welfare politics to provide adequate surveillance strategies for children and adolescents in order to make a maximum of safe social contact in this context possible. Moreover, the consequences of disease management measures such as social distancing, homeschooling, or mask-wearing for the well-being and mental health of the next generation also need to be quantified. The psychosocial burden on children and adolescents must be addressed and effective measures to return to healthy lives and learn our lesson for future pandemic situations need to be based on solid evidence. Apart from a dimensional assessment of sub-categorical impairments, clinical consequences with respect to categorical mood, anxiety, or eating disorders warrant a thorough examination. Adequate scientific instruments for the monitoring and assessment of psychosocial consequences for children and adolescents need to be provided, addressing both the view of parents and children and adolescents themselves. Finally, apart from safe real-life social contacts, digital technologies, and telemedicine interventions, ranging from videoconference-based psychotherapy to mobile phone apps, need to be further investigated in children and adolescents to provide adequate health care in a pandemic situation.
For instance, data from the project coverCHILD, of the German University Medicine Network, serves as a specific example to illustrate the situation in a country in Europe. coverCHILD results, for example, refer to the acceptance of the easier COVID-19 testing method, PCR-Lolli test, versus nasal swab antigen rapid tests in surveillance in schools. This study (the COPSY study) presents conclusions including the effects of pandemic social distancing measures on mental health and quality of life in children and adolescents, illustrate how psychological symptoms can be assessed by parents and self-ratings in a pandemic situation, discuss the effect of the pandemic on eating disorders and how digital applications can be employed to maintain mental health in a pandemic situation.
Considering these points, this Research Topic welcomes submissions from the coverCHILD project, and as different countries have applied different strategies to cope with the SARS-Cov-2 pandemics, submissions that contrast and/or compliments project coverCHILD will be welcomed. Submissions that focus on original data as well as reviews to provide evidence for future pandemic child public health measures and give blueprints for pediatric and child and adolescent psychiatric research infrastructures to adapt rapidly to new challenges in somatic and mental health. Interdisciplinary qualitative papers focusing on ethical considerations or including an evidence-based subjective view of vulnerable groups are also welcomed to provide policymakers with the necessary information to take decisions according to children’s interests and rights.
Keywords: Infants, children and adolescents, parents Mental health, Quality of live Vaccination, surveillance, social distancing Digitalization, Telemedicine Ethics, Child welfare
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