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Mental Health Status of Doctors and Nurses During COVID-19 Epidemic in China
25 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2020More...
Background: The sudden epidemic of COVID-19 in China caused attention globally. Health staff are in heavy workload and at high-risk infection. The aims of this study were to investigate the mental health status of health staff and to identify the key population of psychological intervention.
Methods: Health staff were invited to attend an anonymous WeChat-based survey between Feb 17 to 24, 2020. Sample was collected based on a non-probability sampling procedure. Three mental health problems during the past week including psychological distress, anxious symptoms, and depressive symptoms were evaluated by WHO 20-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20), the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) respectively. The characteristics of hospitals and participants were also collected in the survey.
Findings: Totally 4679 doctors and nurses from 348 hospitals in 31 provinces of mainland China completed the survey. The prevalence of psychological distress, anxious symptoms, and depressive symptoms were 15‧9% (95% CI 14‧8-16‧9), 16‧0% (95% CI 15‧0-17‧1), and 34‧6% (95% CI 33‧2-35‧9). Those with middle age, being divorced or widowed, seldom or not living with family members, being a nurse, working at high-risk departments, having experiences of treatment for COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, from designated hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, non-infectious disease hospitals, and higher level hospitals had higher risk to have at least one of the mental health problems. Medical staff with three mental health problems (23‧2%) received less psychological help compared with those without any problem (35‧3%).
Interpretation: Those with features of high-risk mental health problems should be set as priority for psychiatric interventions, especially when mental health professionals are not sufficient in China.
Funding Statement: This project is an independent scientific research project approved by the Scientific Committee of Beijing Ditan Hospital Capital Medical University.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: This survey was approved by the Ethical Committee of Beijing Ditan Hospital Capital Medical University (BJDTH) (JINGDILUNKE(2020)-(012)-01). All participants voluntarily attended this WeChat-based anonymous survey and were thus considered exempting from written informed consent.
Keywords: COVID-19; mental health; medical staff; epidemiology
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