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. 

SAfER BC: SARS-CoV-2 Study for Eased Restrictions in British Columbia

Simon Pimstone, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace and on 1,500 employees across the life sciences sector and post-secondary institutions in B.C. The SAfER Study will evolve work place and work flow guidelines over time in order to optimize workplace safety and efficiency allowing for the gradual relaxation of restrictions.

This study is likely to provide unique data that could assist in planning for the relaxation of restrictions in our businesses and workplaces in British Columbia, while at the same time providing a dataset that may help in optimizing contact tracing strategies in the community. The SAfER BC Study should assist in management of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and will provide key data to optimize provincial readiness for the future.

Contact: Theresa Wiens

First-time hospitalizations for anorexia nervosa during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jennifer Coelho, Principal Investigator

Public health emergency measures and other COVID-19 related factors have contributed to the increase in hospitalizations for children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa. With the results from this study, we hope to describe the clinical features associated with hospital admissions for a first presentation of a primary diagnosis of anorexia nervosa during the COVID-19 pandemic, including both medical and psychiatric features and comorbidities. We also want to be able to describe COVID-19-related risk factors contributing to the anorexia nervosa diagnosis and the need for hospitalization, and compare the minimum incidence rate of hospitalized children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa during the COVID pandemic to those hospitalized with anorexia nervosa in the three years prior to the pandemic.

Contact: Yeshvi Mehta

Origin Stories From Adolescents Living With Primary Complex Pain & the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Paula Mahon, Principal Investigator

Contact: Paula Mahon

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.

Contact: Victoria Purcell

PICS: Personal Impacts of COVID-19 Survey

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.

For more information: Provincial OCD Program

Participate here

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.

For more information: Doan Lab Research Program

Contact: Karly Stillwell

School Transition Study: 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). 

For more information: Mâsse Lab

Contact: Angelica Leon Elizalde