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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 186-189

Role of virtual psychosocial interventions in coping with mental health challenges of children during the pandemic

Department of Pediatrics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prahbhjot Malhi
Department of Pediatrics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_82_21

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Background: The morbidity and mortality rates associated with the COVID-19 infection among children, fortunately, continue to be low; nevertheless, children are experiencing several pandemic-related mental health risks. Clinical Description: DK, a 9-year-old boy, was referred to the pediatrics department of a tertiary care center for compulsive oxygen saturation checking behaviors that developed a few weeks after the sudden demise of his maternal grandfather due to the COVID-19 infection. A diagnosis of adjustment disorder with emotional and behavioral problems was made as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-5 criteria. Management: A comprehensive management plan was drawn out that focused on encouraging the parents to engage in productive and meaningful conversations regarding death being a permanent event in the life cycle. The child was asked to draw so that he could share his feelings and was also taught “belly breathing” that used a script of 4 counts in and 4 counts out by sharing child-orientated educational videos. The family was asked to chalk out a structured routine with time for creative artwork besides completing academic assignments. Follow-up after a month of therapy revealed an overall improvement in behavior, increased interactions with teachers and peers, and decline in compulsive checking of oxygen saturation levels. Conclusions: There is a need to expand digital treatment options for children, especially during times of public health emergencies, by using online psychoeducation resources, mental health apps, and conducting online therapy sessions.

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