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עמוד בית
Fri, 03.02.23

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

IMAJ | volume 24

Journal 12, December 2022
pages: 791-796

Effects of COVID-19 Lockdowns on the Development of Educational, Social and Emotional Gaps among Children: A Retrospective Chart Review

1 Department of Psychiatry, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion–Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel 2 Department of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Israel 3 Medical Center Management and Patient Safety Unit 4 Department of Pathology, Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel

Summary

Background:

School closures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak affected students physically, socially, and psychologically with an increase in the number of children and adolescent presenting with anxiety, depression, and drug abuse.

Objectives:

To examine the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on the mental health of minors during the pandemic period and to characterize the type and number of referrals to a regional psychiatric outpatient clinic.

Methods:

This study included 380 children evaluated in an outpatient child psychiatric clinic. They were divided into two groups: before the lockdowns (BLD) (n=248), from January 2019 to February 2020, and during the lockdowns (LD) (n=132), from March 2020 to April 2021.

Results:

When comparing the LD to BLD, there was increase in suicide attempts (9.8% vs. 2.8%) and in the use of psychotherapy (81% vs. 56%). There was a decrease in the diagnoses of behavior disorders (29.5% vs. 44.8%) and ADHD (29.5% vs. 50%); as well as a decrease in stimulant usage (22.7% vs. 38%). There was a statistically non-significant increase in the number of children with depression, anxiety, and drug-use disorder.

Conclusions:

Many children developed educational, social, emotional, and behavioral gaps during LD, and they lost skills to deal with everyday problems due to social isolation. It is important to follow the long-term impact of the lockdowns and social isolation.

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