Child and adolescent psychiatry research during the COVID-19 pandemic

Edie Swartz

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in various challenges for child and adolescent mental health researchers, and particularly for those at the beginning of their career. We emphasise the challenges and opportunities from the individual perspective of trainee psychiatrists, psychologists, and doctoral or post-doctoral scholars in child and adolescent mental health […]

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in various challenges for child and adolescent mental health researchers, and particularly for those at the beginning of their career. We emphasise the challenges and opportunities from the individual perspective of trainee psychiatrists, psychologists, and doctoral or post-doctoral scholars in child and adolescent mental health from diverse settings across the globe.

The pandemic has adversely affected the careers of young professionals in child and adolescent mental health research who are often funded by grants and fellowships (usually doctoral and post-doctoral researchers). This is primarily because of the temporary suspension of all grant applications by different funding agencies. Additionally, international research trainees are constrained by difficulties in receiving their work and study permits because of the closure of government facilities.

All forms of intervention studies have been deferred because of the need for physical distancing. Ongoing cohort and longitudinal studies and randomised control trials requiring contact with research participants appear to be the worst affected. Many scientific labs are closed (with staff working from home), halting research programmes including those focused on neurobiology research in child psychiatry. Similarly, school-based studies cannot be continued until schools are fully re-opened.

Regarding new scientific research, priority has been given to COVID-19.

1

‘Covidisation’ of academic research: opportunities and risks.