lancet-header
Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals and other research experts identify content of interest prior to publication. These preprint papers are not peer-reviewed. Authors have either opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet, or submitted directly via SSRN. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These papers should not be used for clinical decision making or reporting of research to a lay audience without indicating that this is preliminary research that has not been peer-reviewed. For more information see the Comment published in The Lancet, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com

Mental Health Problems and Social Media Exposure During COVID-19 Outbreak

21 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Junling Gao

Junling Gao

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Pinping Zheng

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Yingnan Jia

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Hao Chen

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Yimeng Mao

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Suhong Chen

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Yi Wang

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Hua Fu

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

Junming Dai

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication

More...

Abstract

Background: Huge citizens expos social media during a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, China. We assess the prevalence of mental health problems and examine their association with social media exposure.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among Chinese citizens aged ≥18 years old during Jan 31 to Feb 2, 2019. Online survey was used to do rapid assessment. Total of 4872 participants from 31 provinces and autonomous regions were involved in the current study. Besides demographics and social media exposure (SME), depression was assessed by The Chinese version of WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and anxiety was assessed by Chinese version of generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7). multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify associations between social media exposure with mental health problems after controlling for covariates.

Findings: The prevalence of depression, anxiety and combination of depression and anxiety (CDA) was 48.3% (95%CI: 46.9%-49.7%), 22.6% (95%CI: 21.4%-23.8%) and 19.4% (95%CI: 18.3%-20.6%) during COVID-19 outbroke in Wuhan, China. More than 80% (95%CI:80.9%-83.1%) of participants reported frequently exposed to social media. After controlling for covariates, frequently SME was positively associated with high odds of anxiety (OR=1.72, 95%CI: 1.31-2.26) and CDA (OR=1.91, 95%CI: 1.52-2.41) compared with less SME.

Interpretation: Our findings show there are high prevalence of mental health problems, which positively associated with frequently SME during the COVID-19 outbreak. These findings implicated the government need pay more attention to mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety among general population and combating with “infodemic” while combating during public health emergency.

Funding Statement: National key R&D Program of China (grant no. 2018YFC2002000 & 2018YFC2002001) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 71573048).

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Fudan University, School of Public Health (IRB#2020-01-0800).

Keywords: COVID-19; Mental Health; Social Media; Infodemic

Suggested Citation

Gao, Junling and Zheng, Pinping and Jia, Yingnan and Chen, Hao and Mao, Yimeng and Chen, Suhong and Wang, Yi and Fu, Hua and Dai, Junming, Mental Health Problems and Social Media Exposure During COVID-19 Outbreak (2/17/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3541120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3541120

Junling Gao (Contact Author)

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Pinping Zheng

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Yingnan Jia

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Hao Chen

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Yimeng Mao

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Suhong Chen

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Yi Wang

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Hua Fu

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Junming Dai

Fudan University - Fudan Institute of Health Communication ( email )

Shanghai
China

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
7,910
Downloads
2,595