COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

Strategies to support the mental health of diverse patients waiting for procedures delayed by COVID-19: A scoping review

Key messages

  • Waiting for procedures caused anxiety and depression among patients and caregivers, which increased over time, and reduced quality of life and trust in the healthcare system
  • Mental health impact of waiting may be greater among women and new immigrants, and those of younger age, lower socioeconomic status, or with less-positive coping ability or longer wait times
  • Educational strategies aimed to improve coping, but did not always reduce anxiety or depression
  • Patients instead recommended peer moral support, and periodic updates of the reason for delay, wait list position, rules for patient selection, and procedure date


  • COVID-19
  • Elective procedures
  • Waiting lists
  • Delays
  • Mental health
  • Anxiety
  • Interventions
  • Implementation
  • Scoping review


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Anna R Gagliardi, University Health Network
  • Robin Green (University Health Network)
  • Susan Abbey (University Health Network)
  • Donna E Stewart (University Health Network)

For more information, please contact: Anna R Gagliardi,

Related Syntheses


(External links)

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Lay Summary PDF


Chronic Disease and/or Mental Illness, General Population


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