METHODS: We conducted a rapid scoping review following the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We searched Medline, Embase and PsychInfo databases and Google Scholar using a search strategy developed in consultation with a biomedical librarian. We included records related to mental health or psychosocial risk factors and COVID-19 among at-risk groups; that referred to one or more APEC member economies or had a global, thus generalizable, scope; English language papers, and papers with full text available.
RESULTS: A total of 132 records published between December 2019 and August 2020 were included in the final analysis. Several priority at-risk populations, risk factors, challenges and recommendations for standard and e-mental health care were identified. Results demonstrate that e-mental health care can be a viable option for care delivery but that specific accessibility and acceptability considerations must be considered. Options for in-person, hybrid or "low-tech" care must also remain available.
CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for equitable standard and e-mental health care. It has also highlighted the persistent social and structural inequities that contribute to poor mental health. The APEC region is vast and diverse; findings from the region can guide policy and practice in the delivery of equitable mental health care in the region and beyond.
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