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The Prevalence and Influencing Factors for Anxiety in Medical Workers Fighting COVID-19 in China: A Cross-Sectional Survey

20 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2020

See all articles by Chen-Yun Liu

Chen-Yun Liu

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Yun-zhi Yang

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Xiao-Ming Zhang

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Xinying Xu

Independent

Qing-Li Dou

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Wen-Wu Zhang

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

More...

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 outbreak caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus has been sustained in China since December 2019, and could become a pandemic if we do not contain it. The mental health of frontline medical staff is a concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the influencing factors on medical worker anxiety in China during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among medical staff from 10 th February 2020 to 20th February 2020 in China using the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) to assess anxiety, using the criteria of normal (≤49), mild (50-59), moderate (60-70) and severe anxiety (≥70). We used multivariable linear regression to determine the factors (e.g., having direct contact treating infected patients, being a medical staff worker from Hubei province, being a suspect case) for anxiety. We also used adjusted models to confirm independent factors for anxiety after adjusting for gender, age, education and marital status.

Findings: Of 512 medical staff from China, 164 healthcare workers (32.03%) had had direct contact by treating infected patients. The prevalence of anxiety was 12.5%, with 53 workers suffering from mild (10.35%), seven workers from moderate (1.36%) and four workers from severe anxiety (0.78%). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, education and marital status), medical staff who had had direct contact treating infected patients saw higher anxiety scores than those who had not had direct contact (βvalue=2.33, CI: 0.65 -4.00; p=0.0068). Similar things were observed in medical staff from Hubei province, compared with those from other parts of China (βvalue=3.67, CI: 1.44 -5.89; p=0.0013). The most important variable was suspect cases with high anxiety scores, compared to non-suspect cases (βvalue=4.44, CI: 1.55 -7.33; p=0.0028).

Interpretation: Our results highlight that government authorities should make early detection of the high risk of anxiety among medical staff a priority, and implement appropriate psychological intervention programs, to prevent medical staff from developing psychological disorders that could potentially exert an adverse effect on combating the COVID-19 epidemic.

Funding Statement: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Declaration of Interests: There are no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval from the ethics committee of the People’s Hospital of Baoan District, Shenzhen (Certificate: BYL20200202) was obtained, with written consent provided by all participants.

Keywords: COVID-19; medical staff; anxiety

Suggested Citation

Liu, Chen-Yun and Yang, Yun-zhi and Zhang, Xiao-Ming and Xu, Xinying and Dou, Qing-Li and Zhang, Wen-Wu, The Prevalence and Influencing Factors for Anxiety in Medical Workers Fighting COVID-19 in China: A Cross-Sectional Survey (3/1/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3548781 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3548781

Chen-Yun Liu (Contact Author)

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Shenzhen
China

Yun-zhi Yang

Southern Medical University - Department of Nursing

Shenzhen
China

Xiao-Ming Zhang

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency ( email )

Shenzhen
China

Xinying Xu

Independent

No Address Available
United States

Qing-Li Dou

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Shenzhen
China

Wen-Wu Zhang

Southern Medical University - Department of Emergency

Shenzhen
China

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