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COVID-19-related school closures and patterns of hospital admissions with stress-related presentations in secondary school-aged adolescents: weekly time series

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ruth M Blackburn, Jacqueline Phillips Owen, Johnny Downs, Ruth Gilbert

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-657
Number of pages3
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Volume221
Issue number5
Early online date25 Aug 2022
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print25 Aug 2022
Published30 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research benefits from and contributes to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Children and Families Policy Research Unit, but was not commissioned by the NIHR Policy Research Programme. Research at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is supported by the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre. R.M.B. is supported by a UK Research and Innovation Fellowship funded by grant MR/S003797/1 from the Medical Research Council. J.D. received support from a NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CS-2018-18-ST2-014) and Psychiatry Research Trust Peggy Pollak Research Fellowship in Developmental Psychiatry. Funding Information: This research benefits from and contributes to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Children and Families Policy Research Unit, but was not commissioned by the NIHR Policy Research Programme. Research at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is supported by the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre. R.M.B. is supported by a UK Research and Innovation Fellowship funded by grant MR/S003797/1 from the Medical Research Council. J.D. received support from a NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CS-2018-18-ST2-014) and Psychiatry Research Trust Peggy Pollak Research Fellowship in Developmental Psychiatry. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s), 2022.

King's Authors

Abstract

This study examines health service indicators of stress-related presentations (relating to pain, mental illness, psychosomatic symptoms and self-harm) in adolescents of secondary school age, using Hospital Episode Statistics data for England. We examined weekly time series data for three academic years spanning the time before (2018-2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2019-2020 and 2020-2021), including the first lockdown when schools were closed to the majority of pupils. For all secondary school children, weekly stress presentations dropped following school closures. However, patterns of elevated stress during school terms re-established after reopening, with girls aged 11-15 showing an overall increase compared with pre-pandemic rates.

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