In April 2020, the world was gripped by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the situation has only worsened since then. ESCAP, more specifcally the Research Academy committee, launched a survey to establish the initial impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent psychiatric services.
We reached out to our National Member Societies, fellows of the Research Academy and ESCAP board members to obtain the contact details of heads of child and adoelscent psychiatric departments (academic i.e. university) throughout Europe.
In total, we reached out to 168 heads of psychiatric services and got responses from 83 across 20 countries in Europe. What was clear from these responses is that despite the challenging and uncertain conditions, child and adolescent psychiatric services are adapting well to the new situation, especially in terms of a minimal impact on psychopathology and adopting new technologies including telepsychiatry. The major concerns were insufficient contact with patients and families, unable to maintain specific therapeutic groups, treating too few patients with a foreseeable deficit, and unable to complete clinical work as meetings to manage the crisis took precedent.
We aim to launch the second phase in December to coincide with the second wave of the pandemic. We will invite all previous respondents to complete the second survey and we would be keen to reach countries who were lacking in the first phase analysis. If you are a head of an academic department within Europe and would like to take part, please contact our editor.
The article has been accepted in the European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (ECAP) Journal and is now online: