Objective: Efforts to describe the current state of research are needed to advance the field of physical-mental multimorbidity (ie, the co-occurrence of at least one physical illness and at least one mental disorder) among children and youth. Our objective was to systematically explore the breadth of physical-mental multimorbidity research in children and youth and to provide an overview of existing literature topics.
Design: Scoping review.
Methods: We conducted a systematic search of four key databases: PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Scopus as well as a thorough scan of relevant grey literature. We included studies of any research design, published in English, referring to physical-mental multimorbidity among children and youth aged ≤18 years. Studies were screened for eligibility and data were extracted, charted and summarised narratively by research focus. Critical appraisal was employed using the modified Quality Index (QI).
Results: We included 431 studies and 2 sources of grey literature. Existing research emphasises the co-occurrence of anxiety, mood and attention disorders among children with epilepsy, asthma and allergy. Evidence consists of mostly small, observational studies that use cross-sectional data. The average QI score across applicable studies was 9.1 (SD=1.8).
Conclusions: There is a pressing need for more robust research within the field of child physical-mental multimorbidity.
Keywords: allergy; asthma; child & adolescent psychiatry; epilepsy.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.