The following research projects led by BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital researchers investigate the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing.

Click on the study titles below for more information. 

COVID NeuroOutcomes Study - Examining the Chronic Burden of Neuropsychiatric Illness in COVID-19 Patients

William Panenka, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this study is to explore the neuropsychiatric accompaniments of the COVID-19 infection and the blood and/or MR imaging biomarkers that are associated with neuropsychological impairment.

COVID and Epilepsy Study - The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on adolescents and teenagers with epilepsy

Anita N. Datta, Principal Investigator

The purpose of the study is to compare the incidence of depression and anxiety in adolescents and teenagers with self-limited or genetic generalized epilepsy before and during the COVID-19 outbreak to determine the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in these patients.

COVID-19 and moral distress - Covid-19 Outbreak: Understanding the ethical challenges faced by health care workers

Alice Virani, Principal Investigator

In response to the current COVID-19 outbreak, BC Health Authorities, alongside the Public Health Office are implementing pandemic management plans aimed to provide patient care while preserving the wellbeing of the population. Therefore, those plans shift the model of care from a patient-centered approach to a public-centered approach, which introduces new ethical and modifies the nature, scope and context of health care workers' professional performance. As a result, pandemic management plans can lead to changes in both the type of ethical challenges that health care workers face and the approach that needs to be adopted to solve them. This places health care leaders, clinicians and even non-clinicians, such as support and maintenance staff, at a heightened risk of experiencing moral distress.

Impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak on movement and play behaviours of Canadian children and youth: A national survey

Guy Faulkner, Principal Investigator

Our research will examine how physical activity changes over the course of the pandemic, what factors influence whether a person is physically active, and how physical activity interacts with well-being. 

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global pandemic that presents a significant risk to human health and social functioning. The purpose of this research is to examine how public health protocols surrounding COVID-19 (e.g., social distancing) impact physical activity and mental well-being.

The primary study method is a longitudinal, observational design. Participants will be asked to complete brief (c. 10 minute) weekly online surveys that examine their mental well-being, physical activity, and thoughts about exercise. A subset of participants will also be asked to participate in brief (15-30 minutes) interviews (via telephone or computer) regarding their experience with COVID-19 and physical activity.The consequences and impact of COVID-19 preventive measures on health and healthy behaviours of adults is unknown yet could be important for informing public health messaging and behaviour modification guidance – for COVID-19 and future public health challenges.

COVID-19 Personal Impact Study (PICS)

S. Evelyn Stewart, Principal Investigator

The purpose of the study is to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals' thoughts, feelings, and coping actions. The study objectives are threefold: (1) to characterize pandemic-era anxiety/mental health sequelae and their determinants; (2) to determine pandemic-era mental health support needs and obtained resources; and (3) to identify pandemic-era uptake of online anxiety management tools, including perceived accessibility, utility, deficits and impacts.

Using the MyHEARTSMAP tool during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine the impact on the psychosocial status of Canadian children and youth and inform mental health resources planning

Quynh Doan, Principal Investigator

Emergency public health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including physical distancing, school closures, and travel bans, have impacted our lives significantly. There is concern that these measures may lead to mental health issues among children, youth, and families. Mental health resource planning requires estimation of the impact of COVID-19 across the spectrum of social, psychiatric, functional and youth health areas. We will use MyHEARTSMAP, a validated online psychosocial screening tool, to identify the frequency at which specific issues occur, their severity and access to resources, to guide families to relevant mental health services and inform further resource planning.

Impact of transitioning to secondary schools on behaviours associated with obesity and academic-related outcomes: An ecological perspective (includes a Covid-19 addendum)

Louise Mâsse, Principal Investigator

Adolescence is marked by a decline in physical activity and dietary habits and a substantial increase in sedentary time. Limited research suggests that the transition from elementary school to high school is influential regarding choices to be physically active and consume a less healthful diet.

Our primary aim is to better understand factors that influence negative changes in PA, sedentary time, and dietary intake that often occur at adolescence. Our specific objectives are: 1) To describe changes in PA, sedentary time, and dietary intake that occur as students transition from elementary to secondary school; 2) To identify factors within the school, household and social environments that uniquely or synergistically influence students’ levels of PA, sedentary time, and dietary intake as they transition from elementary to secondary school; 3) Our secondary aim is evaluate the link between PA, sedentary time, and dietary intake with academic performance (i.e., performance on standardized achievement test scores) in elementary school students (cross-sectional at baseline). And 4) For all Aims, we will examine the influence of gender and key social determinants (SES and ethnicity) of health and academic performances.

As COVID-19 occurs in the middle of our study data collection we are extending our current aims to: 1) Describe changes in physical activity, sedentary time and dietary intake as a result of COVID-19 during the transition to secondary school; 2) Characterize the factors within the school, household and social environments that influence health behaviours of children affected by COVID-19; and 3) For all COVID-19 Aims, we will examine the influence of gender and key social determinants (SES and ethnicity). 

Longitudinal Trends in Burnout in Pediatric Emergency Medicine Departments During COVID-19

Daniel Ting, Principal Investigator