The aim of this study was to identify interventions targeting children and their caregivers to reduce psychosocial problems in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and comparable outbreaks. The review was performed using systematic literature searches in MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and COVID-19-specific databases, including the CDC COVID-19 Research Database, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Database on COVID-19 Research and the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, ClinicalTrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register and the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS) up to 25th September 2020. The search yielded 6657 unique citations. After title/abstract and full text screening, 11 study protocols reporting on trials planned in China, the US, Canada, the UK, and Hungary during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. Four interventions targeted children ≥10 years directly, seven system-based interventions targeted the parents and caregivers of younger children and adolescents. Outcome measures encompassed mainly anxiety and depressive symptoms, different dimensions of stress or psychosocial well-being, and quality of supportive relationships. In conclusion, this systematic review revealed a paucity of studies on psychosocial interventions for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research should be encouraged in light of the expected demand for child mental health management.
Keywords: COVID-19; child; intervention; mental health; pandemic.