Effects of social isolation and quarantine on mental health of children, adolescents and young adults (research up to 29 March 2020)

Added August 20, 2020

Citation: Loades ME, Chatburn E, Higson-Sweeney N, et al. Rapid Systematic Review: The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness on the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in the Context of COVID-19. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2020 Jun 3.

What is this? Measures taken to reduce transmission of COVID-19 include social isolation, which may lead to mental health problems for, for example, children, adolescents and young adults.

In this rapid systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the relationship between loneliness and mental health problems in healthy children and adolescents and disease containment measures including quarantine and social isolation. They restricted their searches to articles published in English up to 29 March 2020. They included 63 studies.

What was found: At the time of review, the included studies showed a positive association between loneliness or social isolation and depressive and anxiety symptoms, suicidal ideation, self-harm and eating disorder risk behaviour among children, adolescents and young adults.

At the time of review, the included studies showed a significantly higher rate of PTSD and other mental health diagnoses among children, adolescents and young adults following disease containment measures.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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