BACKGROUND: To systematically review the evidence published in systematic reviews (SR) on the health impact of staying at home, social distancing and lockdown measures . We followed a systematic review approach, in line with PRISMA guidelines .
METHODS: In October 2020, we searched the databases Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase and Web of Science, using a pre-defined search strategy .
RESULTS: The literature search yielded an initial list of 2172 records . After screening of titles and abstracts, followed by full-text screening , 51 articles were retained and included in the analysis . All of them referred to the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic . The direct health impact that was covered in the greatest number (25) of SR related to mental health, followed by 13 SR on healthcare delivery and 12 on infection control . The predominant areas of indirect health impacts covered by the included studies relate to the economic and social impacts . Only three articles mentioned the negative impact on education .
CONCLUSIONS: The focus of SR so far has been uneven, with mental health receiving the most attention . The impact of measures to contain the spread of the virus can be direct and indirect, having both intended and unintended consequences.