Mental Health Issues In Kids Rose During Pandemic; Awareness And Use Of COVID Treatments Is Low

Mental Health Issues In Kids Rose During Pandemic; Awareness And Use Of COVID Treatments Is Low

The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.

Pandemic linked with mental health issues in kids

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the mental health of children and adolescents, researchers say, based on their analysis of findings from 17 earlier studies.

The studies – published in 2020 and 2021 – found unusually high rates of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior, stress-related disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health problems during the pandemic. Individual behaviors such as hobbies, praying, and listening to music were associated with positive mental health, the studies also found. “Mental health problems were more common in those with low socioeconomic status, lack of social connections and support, adverse family relationships, restricted mobility,” among other factors including school closures and “COVID-related health experiences within family or community,” said Dr. M. Mahbub Hossain of Texas A&M University, who coauthored a report posted on Tuesday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

“In many places, school and community mental health resources and services became unavailable or inaccessible, making it difficult for children and adolescents to receive timely mental healthcare,” Hossain said, adding there is a need for “multipronged efforts to alleviate the immediate and future health and social consequences” of the pandemic on the mental health of children and teens.

Awareness, use of anti-COVID drugs is low

Fewer than 2% of nonhospitalized high-risk patients with COVID-19 are receiving drugs that can limit the extent of their illness, survey results suggest.

In March 2022, researchers recruited 1,159 people from 37 states who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR tests and asked whether they knew about or had taken effective treatments for the virus, such as monoclonal antibodies or oral antiviral drugs molnupiravir from Merck & Co or Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Among the 241 individuals older than 65, whose age puts them at risk for severe COVID-19, 66% were aware of treatments and 36.3% had sought them, but only 1.7% reported use of such drugs, according to a report posted on Tuesday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

Among patients under 65, even fewer were aware of the treatments and had sought them, and rates of use were barely higher than among the older group. “More awareness of effective medicines for COVID-19 among the public and healthcare workers is needed to prevent serious disease and death,” said study leader Dr. Noah Kojima of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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