A Following Wave Pattern of Suicide-Related Pediatric Emergancy Room Admissions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tomer Mevorach, Gil Zur, Noa Benaroya-Milshtein, Alan Apter, Silvana Fennig, Shira Barzilay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and response, which included physical distancing and stay-at-home orders, disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, isolating them from their peers, school, and other meaningful contacts. The present study aims to add to the accumulating evidence on the pandemic’s impact on child and adolescent suicidal behavior. Data were extracted from Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel’s pediatric emergency room (ER) admissions for psychiatric consultation for suicidal-risk assessment between 1 January 2020, and 16 April 2022. We applied time-lagged cross-correlation analysis and a Granger causality test to assess the temporal relationships between COVID-19 infection waves and patterns of suicide-related ER admissions. The results revealed a significant lagged correlation between national COVID-19 infection rates and ER admission rates. The highest correlation was above 0.4 and was found with a lag of 80 to 100 days from infection rate to ER admission rate. The findings show that the effects of public crises change over time and may be lagged. This may have important implications for mental health services’ readiness to serve growing numbers of children and adolescents at risk for suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1619
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • emergency room
  • risk assessment
  • suicide
  • suicide attempt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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