Increased Mental Health Presentations by Children Aged 5-15 at Emergency Departments during the first 12 months of COVID-19

Title: Increased Mental Health Presentations by Children Aged 5-15 at Emergency Departments during the first 12 months of COVID-19
Authors: McDonnell, ThérèseBarrett, MichaelMcNicholas, FionaBarrett, ElizabethConlon, CiaraCummins, FergalHensey, ConorMcAuliffe, EilishNicholson, Emma
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12237
Date: 31-May-2021
Online since: 2021-06-17T11:41:43Z
Abstract: Aims To determine changes in mental health (MH) attendance at Emergency Departments (ED) by children aged five to 15 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Analysis of MH presentations during the first year of the pandemic compared with prior year for three public paediatric EDs serving the greater Dublin area with a paediatric population of 430,000. Results Overall, ED attendance during the 12 months to 28th February 2021 was 34.3% below prior year, while MH presentations were 8.9% above prior year. MH attendances initially decreased by 26.8% (2020: 303; 2019: 414) during the first four months of the pandemic (March to June), lower than the corresponding decrease of 47.9% for presentations for any reason (2020: 11,530; 2019: 22,128). However, MH presentations increased by 52.4% in July and August (2020: 218; 2019: 143), and by 45.6% in September to December (2020: 552 ;2019: 379), dropping 28.1% below prior year in January (2021: 87; 2020: 121) before returning to prior year levels in February 2021 (2021: 107; 2020: 106). Conclusion Following the initial COVID-19 lockdown, ED presentations by children for acute MH care increased significantly over prior year, with this increase sustained throughout 2020. Long-term stressors linked to the pandemic may be leading to chronic MH problems, warranting increased funding of MH services as part of the response to COVID-19.
Funding Details: Health Research Board
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Irish Medical Organization
Journal: Irish Medical Journal
Volume: 114
Issue: 5
Start page: 356
End page: 356
Keywords: Mental healthChildrenCOVID-19CoronavirusMental health servicesIreland
Other versions: http://imj.ie/increased-mental-health-presentations-by-children-aged-5-15-at-emergency-departments-during-the-first-12-months-of-covid-19/
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0332-3102
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems Research Collection
Medicine Research Collection

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