New research from JAMA has found that pediatric emergency department patients with mental health conditions have been more likely to require admission and have had longer admissions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The article notes that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place novel stressors on the provision of pediatric mental health care. The findings may reflect challenges in disposition to definitive mental health care and a scarcity of mental health treatment resources.
The researchers explain that their limitations in the study include an inability to account for the complexity of presenting mental health conditions and the limited generalizability to non-children’s hospitals. However, the findings of the cross-sectional study underscore the need for increased pediatric mental health services.