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The Impact of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 Outbreak on Chinese Residents’ Mental Health
30 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020More...
Background: This study aims to quantitatively evaluate the influence of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on residents’ mental health.
Methods: This research carried out two cross-sectional surveys in seven provinces of China from January to February 2019, and again in February 2020 (during the COVID-19 outbreak), involving 22,886 and 8,151 residents, respectively. It compares the incidences of anxiety and depressive symptoms between the two surveys, and analyzes the regional differences of the impact among areas with different epidemic severities. Logistic regression is applied to analyze the factors affecting residents’ mental health.
Outcomes: During the COVID-19 outbreak, the incidence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in residents was 7·69% and 15·02%, which had increased significantly by 15% and 11%, respectively, compared to 2019. In epidemic low-risk areas, medium-risk areas, high-risk areas, and the outbreak area, the incidence of anxiety symptoms in 2020 increased by 12%, 8%, 17%, and 32%, respectively, and the incidence of depressive symptoms increased by 8%, 6%, 14%, and 24%, respectively. The occurrence of anxiety and depressive symptoms is related to self-reported health status, exercise, social support, and perceptions of the death toll, and treatment difficulty of COVID-19.
Interpretation: During the outbreak of COVID-19, the incidences of anxiety and depressive symptoms both increased, and the rate increased with the severity of the epidemic. It is necessary to conduct mental health monitoring of residents during the outbreak, and optimize public service announcements to improve mental health.
Funding Statement: This study was funded by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2016YXMS224), Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. All the respondents’ participation was voluntary and informed consent was obtained.
Keywords: COVID-19; outbreak; mental health; China
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