Last updated on June 2020

Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Covid-19 Outbreak

Brief description of study

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) outbreak, the home confinement of the population ordered by governments in many countries raise questions about its impact on individuals' physical and mental health in the short and longer term. In children, reduced physical activity, changes in lifestyle, disturbances in sleep patterns, lack of in-person contact with peers, poor or inadequate understanding of health risks may be risk factors of anxiety, stress, fatigue, sleep disorders (Brooks et al, 2020; Wang et al, 2020; Sprang et al, 2013). These problematic effects could be modulated by social factors (housing in urban or rural areas, availability of personal space at home, parenting stress, etc.) (Cluver et al, 2020; Liu et al, 2020).

Detailed Study Description

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or hyperactive children (ADHD) usually have behavioral and emotional difficulties. The disorders they suffer from, which considerably disturb family life, the therapies they benefit from, which help to organize and structure their daily lives, make them a coherent study group whose observation during home confinement is particularly relevant. Therefore, it is especially interesting to explore the impact of quarantine on the evolution of clinical symptoms and family dynamic.

There is little evidence about the impact of prolonged confinement in these children. The first clinical observations, at the beginning of confinement, reported various situations. Some children showed marked emotional disturbances, whereas others seem to be happy with less social pressure. For ASDs, the ritualization can be a stabilizing factor. For ADHDs, the decrease in school pressure is undoubtedly a positive factor. The availability of parents to create a suitable environment could play a major role. In all cases, changes in care management (teleconsultations for most of them), disruption in routines and lack of points of reference, adjustment in parenting and caring for children for the parents (with difficulties that could increase with prolonged duration of confinement), could have serious long-term effects, but also create opportunities.

So, the present study aim to document the experience of home confinement in children and adolescents with ASD and/or ADHD quarantined because of covid-19 outbreak in various socio-cultural contexts. The experiences reported by the children, their parents and their caregivers will help understand the psychological impact of quarantine.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04416360

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Centre Hospitalier Esquirol

Limoges, France
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Recruitment Status: Open

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