Effects of COVID-19 Mental Health Interventions among Community-based Children, Adolescents, and Adults: A Living Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials [article]

Olivia Bonardi, Yutong Wang, Kexin Li, Xiaowen Jiang, Ankur Krishnan, Chen He, Ying Sun, Yin Wu, Jill T. Boruff, Sarah Markham, Danielle B. Rice, Ian Thombs-Vite (+11 others)
2021 medRxiv   pre-print
Scalable interventions to address COVID-19 mental health are needed. Our objective was to assess effects of mental health interventions for community-based children, adolescents, and adults. Methods: We searched 9 databases (2 Chinese-language) from December 31, 2019 to March 22, 2021. We included randomised controlled trials with non-hospitalised, non-quarantined participants of interventions to address COVID-19 mental health challenges. We synthesized results descriptively but did not pool
more » ... ntitatively due to substantial heterogeneity of populations and interventions and concerns about risk of bias. Findings: We identified 9 eligible trials, including 3 well-conducted, well-reported trials that tested interventions designed specifically for COVID-19 mental health challenges, plus 6 trials of standard interventions (e.g., individual or group therapy, expressive writing, mindfulness recordings) minimally adapted for COVID-19, all with risk of bias concerns. Among the 3 COVID-19-specific intervention trials, one (N = 670) found that a self-guided, internet-based cognitive-behavioural intervention targeting dysfunctional COVID-19 worry significantly reduced COVID-19 anxiety (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.74, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.90) and depression symptoms (SMD 0.38, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.55) in Swedish general population participants. A lay-delivered telephone intervention for homebound older adults in the United States (N = 240) and a peer-moderated education and support intervention for people with a rare autoimmune condition from 12 countries (N = 172) significantly improved anxiety (SMD 0.35, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.60; SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.58) and depressive symptoms (SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.56; SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.55) 6-weeks post-intervention, but these were not significant immediately post-intervention. No trials in children or adolescents were identified. Interpretation: Internet-based programs for the general population and lay- or peer-delivered interventions for vulnerable groups may be effective, scalable options for public mental health in COVID-19. More well-conducted trials, including for children and adolescents, are needed.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.04.21256517 fatcat:vkernbbparbx3filkyq277fpq4