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Protocol for the OCAY study: a cohort study of orphanhood and caregiver loss in the COVID-19 era to explore the impact on children and adolescents

Steventon Roberts, Kathryn J; Du Toit, Stefani; Mawoyo, Tatenda; Tomlinson, Mark; Cluver, Lucie D; Skeen, Sarah; Laurenzi, Christina A; (2023) Protocol for the OCAY study: a cohort study of orphanhood and caregiver loss in the COVID-19 era to explore the impact on children and adolescents. BMJ Open , 13 (6) , Article e071023. 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071023. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Globally, no person has been untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, little attention has been given to children and adolescents in policy, provision and services. Moreover, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding the impact of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver loss on children. This study aims to provide early insights into the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents experiencing orphanhood or caregiver loss in South Africa. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Data will be drawn from a quantitative longitudinal study in Cape Town, South Africa. A sample of children and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 18 years, experiencing parental or caregiver loss from COVID-19, will be recruited together with a comparison group of children in similar environments who did not experience loss. The study aims to recruit 500 children in both groups. Mental health and well-being among children will be explored through the use of validated and study-specific measures. Participants will be interviewed at two time points, with follow-up data being collected 12-18 months after baseline. A combination of analytical techniques (including descriptive statistics, regression modelling and structural equation modelling) will be used to understand the experience and inform future policy and service provision. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study received ethical approval from the Health Research Ethics Committee at Stellenbosch University (N 22/04/040). Results will be disseminated via academic and policy publications, as well as national and international presentations including high-level meetings with technical experts. Findings will also be disseminated at a community level via various platforms.

Type: Article
Title: Protocol for the OCAY study: a cohort study of orphanhood and caregiver loss in the COVID-19 era to explore the impact on children and adolescents
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071023
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071023
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: COVID-19, community child health, psychiatry, public health, Humans, Child, Adolescent, Cohort Studies, COVID-19, Longitudinal Studies, Caregivers, Pandemics, South Africa
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10172009
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