Family Carers and COVID-19: A Rapid Integrated Mixed Methods Systematic Review
The overall goal of this project is to develop a population-based program to improve the mental health and well-being in family carers of COVID-19. In order to do this quickly and properly, we have divided our project into two phases. Phase 1 (current proposal) is a 6-month project to summarize the published, unpublished and grey literature related to the mental health and well-being of family carers. Results from Phase 1 will inform Phase 2, which is development of a population-based intervention. We are using the logic model of the Caregiver Support Framework, which is intended to identify gaps and plans for improvements. We are also building on our previous experience and expertise in synthesizing the literature. We will start with a one month broad search of published papers describing the approaches used to improve the mental health and well-being of family carers (i.e., informal or unpaid adult family caregivers over 18 years of age caring for adults or children) during communicable disease outbreaks (e.g., SARS, Ebola, COVID-19). We will present our results in a knowledge map (e.g., visual aid) to describe the age, sex, ethnicity, and geographical spread. Then we will complete two rapid searches of the unpublished and grey literature (e.g., guidelines, policies, websites, public health campaigns) to determine: 1) the mood, thinking, and behaviours (including substance use) of family carers during COVID-19, and 2) how approaches are used to improve the mental health and well-being of family carers during COVID-19. Our knowledge mobilization plan includes updating our knowledge map to include unpublished and grey literature related to COVID-19. We will also integrate the results of the rapid searches and apply these to the logic model of the Caregiver Support Framework. This framework will be used to inform a population-based intervention (Phase 2, future proposal), public/conference presentations, and lay summaries/open access publications.