Dr. Jennifer Baumbusch, RN PhD
Angela Clancy: Family Support Institute; Executive Director
Rachelle Hole, PhD
Emily Jenkins, RN, PhD
Esther Lee, MD FRCPC
Lise Olsen, RN, PhD
Ainsley Boudreau, PhD
Tim Stainton, MSW
Mental Health Research Canada
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
To date, research studies about the impact of the pandemic on parental mental health have largely conceptualized parents of children with special needs as a homogenous group or explored singular diagnostic groups or categories (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, medical complexity). This study allows for comparisons of mental health impacts with a larger pan-Canadian sample. We also compare mental health impacts between within the sample of parents of children with special needs based on diagnostic categories, individual factors of parent and child (e.g. gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, family structure, household income), and community factors (e.g. geographic location, size of community). This analyses will help identify specific strengths and vulnerabilities of different sub-groups, which can subsequently be used to customize supports. We will also explore existing knowledge about programs (e.g. peer-to-peer, one-on-one counseling) and promising practices (e.g. virtual/tele-health,enhanced respite) that help mitigate mental health impacts and foster family resilience.
The research objective is twofold: i) to understand the impact of COVID-19 and associated measures on the mental health of parents of children and youth with special needs in BC; and ii) to identify evidence-based programs and promising practices that can mitigate these mental health impacts. Knowledge mobilization activities (short and long-term) will be used to further amplify the results of this research.
Baumbusch, J., Clancy, A. & Jokisch, C. (March 31, 2022). Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the mental of families and caregivers with children and/or youth with support needs: MHRC Spotlight on Research.