BackgroundThere is concern about the impact of COVID-19, and the control measures to prevent the spread, on childrens mental health. The aim of this work was to identify if there had been a rise of childhood suicide during the COVID pandemic; using data from Englands National Child Mortality Database (NCMD). MethodChild suicide rates between April to December 2020 were compared with those in 2019 using negative binomial regression models, and characteristics compared. In a subset (1st January to 17th May 2020) further characteristics and possible contributing factors were obtained. ResultsA total of 193 likely childhood deaths by suicide were reported. There was no evidence overall suicide deaths were higher in 2020 than 2019 (RR 1.09 (0.80-1.48), p=0.584) but weak evidence that the rate in the first lockdown period (April to May 2020) was higher than the corresponding period in 2019 (RR 1.56 (0.86-2.81), p=0.144). Characteristics of individuals were similar between periods. Restriction to education and other activities, disruption to care and support services, tensions at home and isolation appeared to be contributing factors. LimitationsAs child suicides are fortunately rare, the analysis is based on small numbers of deaths with limited statistical power to detect anything but major increases in incidence. ConclusionWe found no consistent evidence that child suicide deaths increased during the COVID-19 pandemic although there was a concerning signal they may have increased during the first UK lockdown. A similar peak was not seen during the following months, or the second lockdown.
- Downloaded 813 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 46,055
- In psychiatry and clinical psychology: 208
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 22,602
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 20,650
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!