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1.
CMAJ Open ; 10(1): E82-E89, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687468

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hospital-based food insecurity is defined as the inability of caregivers to obtain adequate food during their child's hospital admission. We aimed to measure the prevalence of household and hospital-based food insecurity, and to explore the associations with caregiver distress in an academic pediatric hospital setting. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of caregivers of children admitted to the general pediatric ward of an academic pediatric hospital in Toronto, Ontario, from April to October 2020. We measured household food insecurity using the 18-item Household Food Security Survey Module, and included 3 adapted questions about hospital-based food insecurity. We measured caregiver distress with the Distress Thermometer for Parents. We used descriptive statistics to assess the proportion of respondents with food insecurity, and linear regression models to explore the relation of household (adult and child) and hospital-based food insecurity with caregiver distress. We used thematic analysis to explore caregivers' feedback. RESULTS: We contacted 851 caregivers, and 775 (91.1%) provided consent to participate. Overall, 430 (50.5%) caregivers completed at least part of the survey. Caregivers described a high prevalence of household (34.2%) and hospital-based (38.1%) food insecurity. Adult (ß = 0.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.07-0.36), child (ß = 0.38, 95% CI 0.10-0.66) and hospital-based (ß = 0.56, 95% CI 0.30-0.83) food insecurity were significantly associated with caregiver distress, independent of covariates. We identified financial burden, emotional and practical barriers, stress obtaining food and advocacy for food as important themes in caregiver feedback. INTERPRETATION: Both household and hospital-based food insecurity were highly prevalent among caregivers. To reduce caregiver distress, hospitals need to consider reducing barriers for caregivers in obtaining food for themselves during their child's admission.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers , COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Hospitals, Pediatric , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/virology , Caregivers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Food Supply/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Parents , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2140875, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595340

ABSTRACT

Importance: Longitudinal research on specific forms of electronic screen use and mental health symptoms in children and youth during COVID-19 is minimal. Understanding the association may help develop policies and interventions targeting specific screen activities to promote healthful screen use and mental health in children and youth. Objective: To determine whether specific forms of screen use (television [TV] or digital media, video games, electronic learning, and video-chatting time) were associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, conduct problems, irritability, hyperactivity, and inattention in children and youth during COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: A longitudinal cohort study with repeated measures of exposures and outcomes was conducted in children and youth aged 2 to 18 years in Ontario, Canada, between May 2020 and April 2021 across 4 cohorts of children or youth: 2 community cohorts and 2 clinically referred cohorts. Parents were asked to complete repeated questionnaires about their children's health behaviors and mental health symptoms during COVID-19. Main Outcomes and Measures: The exposure variables were children's daily TV or digital media time, video game time, electronic-learning time, and video-chatting time. The mental health outcomes were parent-reported symptoms of child depression, anxiety, conduct problems and irritability, and hyperactivity/inattention using validated standardized tools. Results: This study included 2026 children with 6648 observations. In younger children (mean [SD] age, 5.9 [2.5] years; 275 male participants [51.7%]), higher TV or digital media time was associated with higher levels of conduct problems (age 2-4 years: ß, 0.22 [95% CI, 0.10-0.35]; P < .001; age ≥4 years: ß, 0.07 [95% CI, 0.02-0.11]; P = .007) and hyperactivity/inattention (ß, 0.07 [95% CI, 0.006-0.14]; P = .04). In older children and youth (mean [SD] age, 11.3 [3.3] years; 844 male participants [56.5%]), higher levels of TV or digital media time were associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and inattention; higher levels of video game time were associated with higher levels of depression, irritability, inattention, and hyperactivity. Higher levels of electronic learning time were associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, higher levels of screen use were associated poor mental health of children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings suggest that policy intervention as well as evidence-informed social supports are needed to promote healthful screen use and mental health in children and youth during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/diagnosis , Pandemics , Screen Time , Adolescent , Anxiety/diagnosis , Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis , Child , Conduct Disorder/diagnosis , Depression/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Can J Public Health ; 112(5): 831-842, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524702

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to determine the association between public health preventive measures and children's outdoor time, sleep duration, and screen time during COVID-19. METHODS: A cohort study using repeated measures of exposures and outcomes was conducted in healthy children (0 to 10 years) through The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) COVID-19 Study of Children and Families in Toronto, Canada, between April 14 and July 15, 2020. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires about adherence to public health measures and children's health behaviours. The primary exposure was the average number of days that children practiced public health preventive measures per week. The three outcomes were children's outdoor time, total screen time, and sleep duration during COVID-19. Linear mixed-effects models were fitted using repeated measures of primary exposure and outcomes. RESULTS: This study included 554 observations from 265 children. The mean age of participants was 5.5 years, 47.5% were female and 71.6% had mothers of European ethnicity. Public health preventive measures were associated with shorter outdoor time (-17.2; 95% CI -22.07, -12.40; p < 0.001) and longer total screen time (11.3; 95% CI 3.88, 18.79; p = 0.003) during COVID-19. The association with outdoor time was stronger in younger children (<5 years), and the associations with total screen time were stronger in females and in older children (≥5 years). CONCLUSION: Public health preventive measures during COVID-19 were associated with a negative impact on the health behaviours of Canadian children living in a large metropolitan area.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIF: L'objectif principal était de déterminer la relation entre les mesures préventives de la santé publique et le temps passé en plein air, la durée du sommeil ainsi que le temps passé devant l'écran par les enfants pendant COVID-19. MéTHODES: Une étude de cohorte utilisant des mesures répétées des expositions et des effets a été menée chez des enfants en bonne santé (0 à 10 ans) par l'entremise de l'Étude COVID-19 sur les Enfants et Familles du Groupe de Recherche Appliquée pour les Enfants (TARGet Kids!) à Toronto, au Canada, entre le 14 avril et le 15 juillet 2020. Les parents ont été invités à remplir des questionnaires sur adhésion aux mesures préventives de la santé publique et les comportements de santé des enfants. La principale exposition était le nombre moyen de jours par semaine durant lesquels les enfants pratiquaient des mesures préventives de la santé publique. Les trois effets étaient le temps passé en plein air par les enfants, le temps total passé devant l'écran et la durée du sommeil pendant le COVID-19. Des modèles linéaires à effets mixtes ont été ajustés en utilisant des mesures répétées d'exposition primaire et des effets. RéSULTATS: Cette étude comprend 554 observations sur 265 enfants. L'âge moyen des participants était de 5,5 ans, 47,5 % étaient des femmes et 71,6 % avaient des mères d'origine européenne. Les mesures préventives de la santé publique ont été associées à un temps passé en plein air plus court (-17,2 ; IC 95% -22,07, -12,40; p < 0,001) et à un temps total devant l'écran plus long (11,3 ; IC 95% 3,88, 18,79; p = 0,003) pendant la COVID-19. La relation avec le temps passé en plein air était plus importante chez les jeunes enfants (<5 ans), et les relations avec le temps total passé devant l'écran étaient plus importantes chez les enfants de sexe féminin et les enfants plus âgés (≥5 ans). CONCLUSION: Les mesures préventives de la santé publique prises lors de COVID-19 ont été associées à un impact négatif sur les comportements de santé des enfants canadiens vivant dans une grande région métropolitaine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male
4.
Can J Public Health ; 112(5): 831-842, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299747

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to determine the association between public health preventive measures and children's outdoor time, sleep duration, and screen time during COVID-19. METHODS: A cohort study using repeated measures of exposures and outcomes was conducted in healthy children (0 to 10 years) through The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) COVID-19 Study of Children and Families in Toronto, Canada, between April 14 and July 15, 2020. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires about adherence to public health measures and children's health behaviours. The primary exposure was the average number of days that children practiced public health preventive measures per week. The three outcomes were children's outdoor time, total screen time, and sleep duration during COVID-19. Linear mixed-effects models were fitted using repeated measures of primary exposure and outcomes. RESULTS: This study included 554 observations from 265 children. The mean age of participants was 5.5 years, 47.5% were female and 71.6% had mothers of European ethnicity. Public health preventive measures were associated with shorter outdoor time (-17.2; 95% CI -22.07, -12.40; p < 0.001) and longer total screen time (11.3; 95% CI 3.88, 18.79; p = 0.003) during COVID-19. The association with outdoor time was stronger in younger children (<5 years), and the associations with total screen time were stronger in females and in older children (≥5 years). CONCLUSION: Public health preventive measures during COVID-19 were associated with a negative impact on the health behaviours of Canadian children living in a large metropolitan area.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIF: L'objectif principal était de déterminer la relation entre les mesures préventives de la santé publique et le temps passé en plein air, la durée du sommeil ainsi que le temps passé devant l'écran par les enfants pendant COVID-19. MéTHODES: Une étude de cohorte utilisant des mesures répétées des expositions et des effets a été menée chez des enfants en bonne santé (0 à 10 ans) par l'entremise de l'Étude COVID-19 sur les Enfants et Familles du Groupe de Recherche Appliquée pour les Enfants (TARGet Kids!) à Toronto, au Canada, entre le 14 avril et le 15 juillet 2020. Les parents ont été invités à remplir des questionnaires sur adhésion aux mesures préventives de la santé publique et les comportements de santé des enfants. La principale exposition était le nombre moyen de jours par semaine durant lesquels les enfants pratiquaient des mesures préventives de la santé publique. Les trois effets étaient le temps passé en plein air par les enfants, le temps total passé devant l'écran et la durée du sommeil pendant le COVID-19. Des modèles linéaires à effets mixtes ont été ajustés en utilisant des mesures répétées d'exposition primaire et des effets. RéSULTATS: Cette étude comprend 554 observations sur 265 enfants. L'âge moyen des participants était de 5,5 ans, 47,5 % étaient des femmes et 71,6 % avaient des mères d'origine européenne. Les mesures préventives de la santé publique ont été associées à un temps passé en plein air plus court (-17,2 ; IC 95% -22,07, -12,40; p < 0,001) et à un temps total devant l'écran plus long (11,3 ; IC 95% 3,88, 18,79; p = 0,003) pendant la COVID-19. La relation avec le temps passé en plein air était plus importante chez les jeunes enfants (<5 ans), et les relations avec le temps total passé devant l'écran étaient plus importantes chez les enfants de sexe féminin et les enfants plus âgés (≥5 ans). CONCLUSION: Les mesures préventives de la santé publique prises lors de COVID-19 ont été associées à un impact négatif sur les comportements de santé des enfants canadiens vivant dans une grande région métropolitaine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male
5.
Can J Public Health ; 112(4): 552-565, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1248467

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether social determinants of health (SDOH) are predictive of adherence to public health preventive measures and to describe changes in adherence over time among parents and children. METHODS: A longitudinal study was conducted in children aged 0-10 years and their parents through the TARGet Kids! COVID-19 Study in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada (April-July 2020). This study included 335 parents (2108 observations) and 416 children (2632 observations). Parents completed weekly questionnaires on health, family functioning, socio-demographics, and public health practices. The outcome was adherence to public health preventive measures measured separately for parents and children. Marginal log-binomial models were fitted using repeated measures of the outcome and predictors. RESULTS: Unemployment (RR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.47, 0.97), apartment living (RR 0.72, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.99), and essential worker in the household (RR 0.74, 95% CI: 0.55, 1.00) were associated with decreased likelihood of adherence among parents; however, no associations were observed for other SDOH, including family income and ethnicity. Furthermore, there was no strong evidence that SDOH were associated with child adherence. The mean number of days/week that parents and children adhered at the start of the study was 6.45 (SD = 0.93) and 6.59 (SD = 0.86), respectively, and this decreased to 5.80 (SD = 1.12) and 5.84 (SD = 1.23) by study end. Children consistently had greater adherence than parents. CONCLUSION: SDOH were predictive of adherence to public health preventive measures among parents but less so in children among our sample of relatively affluent urban families. Adherence was high among parents and children but decreased over time. Equitable approaches to support the implementation of public health guidelines may improve adherence.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIFS: Voir si les déterminants sociaux de la santé (DSS) sont des prédicteurs de conformité aux mesures de prévention sanitaire et décrire l'évolution de la conformité des parents et des enfants au fil du temps. MéTHODE: Nous avons mené une étude longitudinale auprès d'enfants de 0 à 10 ans et de leurs parents dans le cadre de l'étude sur la COVID-19 menée par le groupe de recherche TARGet Kids! dans la région du Grand Toronto, au Canada (avril à juillet 2020). L'étude incluait 335 parents (2 108 observations) et 416 enfants (2 632 observations). Les parents ont rempli un questionnaire hebdomadaire sur la santé, le fonctionnement familial, le profil sociodémographique et les pratiques sanitaires. Le résultat était la conformité aux mesures de prévention sanitaire, mesurée séparément pour les parents et les enfants. Des modèles log-binomiaux marginaux ont été ajustés à l'aide de mesures répétées du résultat et des prédicteurs. RéSULTATS: Le chômage (RR 0,67, IC de 95 % : 0,47, 0,97), la vie en appartement (RR 0,72, IC de 95 % : 0,53, 0,99) et la présence d'un travailleur essentiel dans le ménage (RR 0,74, IC de 95 % : 0,55, 1,00) étaient associés à une probabilité réduite de conformité chez les parents; par contre, aucune association n'a été observée pour les autres DSS, dont le revenu familial et l'ethnicité. Il n'y avait pas non plus d'indications convaincantes d'une association entre les DSS et la conformité chez les enfants. Le nombre moyen de jours/semaine où parents et enfants s'étaient conformés aux mesures de prévention sanitaire au début de l'étude était de 6,45 (S = 0,93) et de 6,59 (S = 0,86), respectivement; ce nombre a diminué pour atteindre 5,80 (S = 1,12) et 5,84 (S = 1,23) à la fin de l'étude. La conformité des enfants était uniformément supérieure à celle des parents. CONCLUSION: Dans notre échantillon de familles urbaines relativement aisées, les DSS étaient des prédicteurs de conformité aux mesures de prévention sanitaire chez les parents, mais dans une moindre mesure chez les enfants. La conformité était élevée chez les parents comme chez les enfants, mais elle a diminué avec le temps. Des stratégies équitables d'appui à l'application des directives sanitaires pourraient améliorer le respect de ces directives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Parents/psychology , Public Health , Social Determinants of Health , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Longitudinal Studies , Male
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