Special Issue "Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 11989
Interests: public mental health; public health; digital health; psychiatric epidemiology; addiction; young people
Interests: evidence synthesis; opioid dependence; machine learning; substance use disorders
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted to tackle it may be risk factors for the development, exacerbation, and relapse of a range of mental disorders, especially among the most vulnerable groups. Worldwide, healthcare systems and public health policies have been challenged to develop and scale up novel treatment and prevention strategies. Numerous cross-sectional studies have pointed to healthcare professionals, who have been committed to treating COVID-19 patients during the different stages of the pandemic, as likely at risk of developing psychological distress and mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia. Concurrently, a significant detrimental impact to those suffering from ongoing mental health conditions is likely due to decreased access to support and resources. Furthermore, this public health emergency had a key role also considering unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol and substance misuse. Those with substance use disorders are more likely to report COVID-19 and experience worse COVID-19-related outcomes, including higher risk of hospitalization and mortality. On the other hand, although there is limited scientific evidence, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might lead to substantial modifications in substance use patterns and settings.
In addition to changing mental health burdens, substance use patterns, and access to and provision of care, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced traditional mental health and substance use research settings, timelines, and resources. What are the innovations, methodological lessons, and pitfalls experienced that we could use to improve mental health management and research during the post-pandemic period?
We invite qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical submissions related to the impact of the pandemic on mental health and substance use disorder treatment and research:
- Implications of COVID-19 for the present and the future of mental health care and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, considering also special populations and vulnerable groups;
- Promising and transformative approaches to mental health service delivery;
- Changes in mental health research methodologies during the pandemic, from statistical and machine-learning-related to qualitative and participatory approaches;
- Innovative digital resources development, such as large mental health and SUD administrative data sets, digital health and machine learning algorithms, and national symptom registries.
Dr. Cristina Crocamo
Dr. Ashley Elizabeth Muller
Dr. Ilaria Riboldi
Manuscript Submission Information
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substance use disorders;