Background: This article presents the results of a comprehensive
national model developed for managing maladaptive
behaviors (MBs) in children with mental special needs
(CMSNs) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
pandemic that combines telehealth-based Applied Behavioral
Analyses, psychiatric interventions, and support from local
psychosocial teams. This study aims to determine the effectiveness
of a system that combined telehealth applications
with local psychosocial support teams, allowing services from
video calls to emergency interventions.
Materials and Methods: The system combines the telehealth
applications with the services from local psychosocial intervention
teams. In addition to system records covering sociodemographic sociodemographic
variables and initial complaints, a telephone
survey questioning the effectiveness and satisfaction of the
system was used as the main outcome.
Results: In total, 347 individuals used the system with mothers
constituting the majority of applicants (88.7%, n = 332).
The overall satisfaction of the system was 8.8/10. In terms
of effectiveness, 63.3% (n = 237) of caregivers reported an
improvement in the reason of application. Counselors decided
on a need for follow-up visits for 36.6% (n = 137) of applications.
A referral to a psychiatrist was asked for 40 patients
Discussion: To our best knowledge, this is the first study
presenting a model for managing MBs of CMSNs during the
COVID-19 outbreak. In general, therefore, it seems that there
is a need for unique systems to handle behavioral problems of
Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that it is
possible to establish an integrative multistep multidisciplinary
telehealth-based approach in a short while.
Keywords: behavioral health, COVID-19 pandemic, children
with special needs