Psychosocial dysfunction of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ecuador: a cross-sectional study

Carlos V. Erazo, Amelia C. Cifuentes, Adriana M. Navas, Freddy G. Carrión, Jose D. Caicedo-Gallardo, Mateo Andrade, Ana L. Moncayo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Objective Although the risk of morbidity and mortality of children and adolescents was lower during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that their mental health was strongly impacted. The goal of this study is to document psychological dysfunction among children and adolescents who underwent confinement due to COVID-19 in Ecuador. Design A cross-sectional, internet-based questionnaire. Setting Ecuador. Participants A total of 1077 caregivers of children and adolescents (4-16 years old). Outcome measures Caregivers responded to Pediatric Symptom Checklist-35 to assess psychosocial dysfunction. Results The prevalence of psychosocial dysfunction was 20.8%, with internalising symptoms being the most common (30.7%). The prevalence of psychosocial dysfunction was higher in children who had a poor family relationship during confinement (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.23; 95% CI 1.22 to 4.07), children who never helped with housework (PR 2.63; 95% CI 1.13 to 6.14) and those whose caregivers were worried about children's need for emotional therapy (PR 2.86; 95% CI 1.97 to 4.15). Never playing video games (PR 0.34; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.69) or playing video games infrequently (PR 0.39; 95% CI 0.20 to 0.79) was a protective factor for the psychosocial problems of children and adolescents. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that children and adolescents have experienced a deterioration of mental health due to the pandemic. Family factors played an important role in the mental health of children during the lockdown. When a public crisis occurs, supportive mental health policies should be developed and implemented to promote children's psychological welfare.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe068761
PublicaciónBMJ Open
EstadoPublicada - 22 jun. 2023

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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