• Last updated: Mon, Feb 5, 2024Status: Ongoing
  • Olof Östergren, Peter Larm, Stefanie Möllborn, Fabrizia Giannotta, Jonas Vlachos, and Helena Svaleryd

Social inequalities in use of mental health care services among young persons during the different phases of the pandemic

The pandemic had profound consequences on nearly all aspects of social life, health and health care access. Policy makers and scholars have expressed concern about the consequences of the pandemic on mental health of young persons. International evidence has found modest increases in poor mental health outcomes. Evidence from register-based studies in Sweden have suggested that the trends may differ depending on the specific indicator of mental health, population sub-group and stage of the pandemic.

The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive description of how trends and social inequalities in psychotropic drug use and use of mental health services in children and adolescents changed during 2020—2023. We describe trends in prescription drugs and psychiatric care episodes treating depression, anxiety and stress, eating disorders, ADHD and intentional self-harm by gender, parental education and country of birth. We will disentangle to what extent the observed patterns were attributable to changes in the number of initiated treatments and changes in the number of ongoing treatments that were terminated.

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