Background: Early empirical data shows that school-aged children, adolescents and adults are experiencing elevated levels of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there is very little research on mental health outcomes for young children. Objectives: To describe the formation of a global collaboration entitled, ‘COVID-19 Unmasked’. The collaborating researchers aim to (1) describe and compare the COVID-19 related experiences within and across countries; (2) examine mental health outcomes for young children (1 to 5 years) and caregivers over a 12-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) explore the trajectories/time course of psychological outcomes of the children and parents over this period and (4) identify the risk and protective factors for different mental health trajectories. Data will be combined from all participating countries into one large open access cross-cultural dataset to facilitate further international collaborations and joint publications. Methods: COVID-19 Unmasked is an online prospective longitudinal cohort study. An international steering committee was formed with the aim of starting a global collaboration. Currently, partnerships have been formed with 9 countries (Australia, Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the United States of America). Research partners have started to start data collection with caregivers of young children aged 1–5 years old at baseline, 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months. Caregivers are invited to complete an online survey about COVID-19 related exposure and experiences, child’s wellbeing, their own mental health, and parenting. Data analysis: Primary study outcomes will be child mental health as assessed by scales from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System–Early Childhood (PROMIS-EC) and caregiver mental health as assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). The trajectories/time course of mental health difficulties and the impact of risk and protective factors will be analysed using hierarchical linear models, accounting for nested effects (e.g. country) and repeated measures.
|Translated title of the contribution||COVID-19 Unmasked Global Collaboration Protocol: longitudinal cohort study examining mental health of young children and caregivers during the pandemic|
|Journal||European Journal of Psychotraumatology|
|State||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
MV is supported by a postdoc fellowship funded by the German Research Foundation (Research Fellowship #420503242). The USA team is supported in part by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant UL1TR001998. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The polish team is supported by the funds from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw awarded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education in the form of a subvention for maintaining and developing research potential in 2020. We would like to acknowledge the children, parents and families experiencing mental health difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are especially grateful to all of the caregivers in each of our countries who have participated in the COVID-19 Unmasked Survey and commend their resilience, courage and generosity of time and openness to share their experiences during a very challenging time. The Australian team would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of all lands and sea countries throughout Australia where the research was conducted and pays respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Elders past, present and emerging. The authors would like to acknowledge and thank their support team for their contributions towards the set-up, management, literature searches, and promotion of the project in each country: Dr Tahlia Gash (AUS), Susan Kinsella (AUS), Dr Andrea Baldwin (AUS), Libby Morton (AUS), Rose Borum (USA), Tess Smith (USA), Asa Kerr Davis (UK), Chrysanthi Lioupi, John Siros, (Greece), as well as the contribution of the Dutch Masters students in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Child and Family Studies, and help of the Dutch-Flemish PROMIS National Center in translating the PROMIS-EC (NED). The authors would also like to thank Dr Courtney K. Blackwell, Prof David Cella, Prof Lauren Wakschlag, Prof Jin-Shei Lai, Dr Michael A. Kallen, and Helena Correia from the PROMIS EC team for the timely support and assistance they have provided so that it was possible to include the measure (and several translated versions), in this project. The authors acknowledge the contribution from Dr Elizabeth Ryan for statistical support received through the Children’s Health Queensland Biostatistics Service provided by QCIF Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics (QFAB), University of Queensland. Finally, the team would like to acknowledge the encouragement and support that they have received from Prof Miranda Olff, Prof Nancy Kassam-Adams, Assoc Prof Tatiana Davidson and Assoc Prof Sara Freedman as part of the global COVID-19 related traumatic stress activities project as well as the support received from the COVID-Minds network.
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- covid-19 pandemic
- global collaboration
- mental health
- risk factors
- young child
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health