Changes in Healthcare Provision During Covid-19 and Their Impact on Children With Chronic Illness: A Scoping Review.
Lignou S., Greenwood J., Sheehan M., Wolfe I.
This paper provides an overview of the evidence around how the health systems and policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic affected children with long-term conditions in the UK. We conducted a scoping review guided by the PRISMA-ScR Checklist. The PubMed and PsycINFO databases (2019-August 2021) were searched and screened for papers (of any design) by 2 reviewers independently. The electronic database search was supplemented by manual searching. A total of 32 papers were identified, including studies on UK paediatric populations, studies on chronic illness in the UK, and international studies on chronic illness and children (including data from the UK). Most studies focussed on epilepsy, cancer, diabetes or asthma. Three categories of impact were identified: (a) impact of policy response on the delivery of and access to child healthcare (b) impact of innovative practice on children's physical and mental health (c) impact of service restrictions on children's physical health. Our results showed that policy response to the pandemic significantly affected healthcare provision for children with chronic illness in the UK. However, the specific assessment of the impact of service restrictions and innovative practice on children's health and wellbeing is limited. Future research is required to fill knowledge gaps on changes in access to effective diagnostic and treatment investigations and their impact on a range of paediatric patients during the pandemic.