Identifying Effective Mental Health Interventions and Populations in Need: A COVID‑19 Living Systematic Review

Thombs, Brett D | $199,836

Quebec Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

There will be serious mental health implications from COVID‑19 that extend beyond the first outbreak for many people. Addressing mental health needs requires understanding the nature and extent of mental health ramifications, factors associated with vulnerability, and evidence on effectiveness of interventions that may be rapidly employed to prevent or address mental health concerns. Studies from COVID‑19 are published rapidly, but many are of dubious quality. Thus, curation of this growing evidence base is urgently needed to provide practitioners and policy makers with clear, coherent evidence synthesis. Living systematic reviews are systematic reviews that are continually updated and provide ongoing access to results via online publication. They are logistically challenging, but provide value beyond conventional systematic reviews in situations where (1) important decisions need to be made; (2) uncertainty in existing evidence poses a barrier to decision-making; and (3) new evidence is emerging rapidly. Such a review is urgently needed to guide mental health care during and following COVID-19. Our research team has expertise in high-impact evidence synthesis research (). Our protocol has been made public on the Open Science Framework (). An editorial on the project has been published and will be indexed in major search databases to announce that the living systematic review will provide ongoing, rigorous curation of COVID‑19 mental health evidence. We have already launched initial database searches, are receiving daily search updates, and have already reviewed > 12,000 articles. We have published initial evidence online (). Important evidence will be published in the months to come. It is crucial to maintain funding for this important project to incorporate the higher quality evidence that is beginning to be made available.

With funding from the Government of Canada

Please complete this short survey to help us understand our impact. Thank you!

Give Feedback