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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of young people and adults: a systematic review protocol of observational studies
  1. Fernando Jose Guedes da Silva Junior1,
  2. Jaqueline Carvalho e Silva Sales1,
  3. Claudete Ferreira de Souza Monteiro1,
  4. Ana Paula Cardoso Costa1,
  5. Luana Ruth Braga Campos1,
  6. Priscilla Ingrid Gomes Miranda1,
  7. Thiago Alberto de Souza Monteiro2,
  8. Regina Aparecida Garcia Lima3,
  9. Luis Carlos Lopes-Junior4
  1. 1Nursing Department, Universidade Federal do Piaui, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
  2. 2Faculty of Medicine, Centro Universitário Uninovafapi, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
  3. 3Maternal-Infant and Public Health Nursing Department, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
  4. 4Health Sciences Center, Nursing Department, Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, Vitoria, Espírito Santo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luis Carlos Lopes-Junior; luisgen{at}


Introduction Since the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, the spread of the new coronavirus has been the focus of attention of scientists, governments and populations. One of the main concerns is the impact of this pandemic on health outcomes, mainly on mental health. Even though there are a few empirical studies on COVID-19 and mental health, so far, there is no systematic review about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health of young people and adults yet. We aim to critically synthesise the scientific evidence about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people and adults.

Methods and analysis A systematic review will be performed through eight databases: MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online), ISI-of-Knowledge, CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database), SCOPUS, LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature), PsycINFO (Psychology Information) and CNKI (Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure), from inception until 30 June 2020. No restriction regarding the publication date, setting or languages will be considered. Preliminary search strategies were carried out on 29 March 2020 and will be updated in June 2020. The primary outcomes will be the prevalence and the severity of psychological symptoms in young people and adults (>18 years old) resulting from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Study selection will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist. Pooled standardised mean differences and 95% CIs will be calculated. The risk of bias of the observational studies will be assessed through the Methodological Index for Non-Randomised Studies (MINORS). Additionally, if sufficient data are available, a meta-analysis will be conducted. Heterogeneity between the studies will be determined by the I2 statistics. Subgroup analyses will also be performed. Publication bias will be checked with funnel plots and Egger’s test. Heterogeneity will be explored by random-effects analysis.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical assessment was not required. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publication and will be presented at conferences related to this field.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42020177366.

  • public health
  • adult psychiatry
  • mental health
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Adults
  • Young
  • Adult Psychiatry
  • Mental Health
  • Public Health Nursing

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  • Contributors FJGSJ and LCL-J conceptualised and designed the protocol, drafted the initial manuscript and reviewed the manuscript. FJGSJ, JCeSS, CFdSM and LCL-J defined the concepts and search items, data extraction process and methodological appraisal of the studies. APCC, LRBC, PIGM, TAdSM, RAGL and LCL-J planned the data extraction and statistical analysis. FJGSSJ, RAGL and LCL-J provided critical insights. All authors have approved and contributed to the final written manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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