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Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Chinese Health Care Workers: Cross-Sectional Survey Study

  • Ni, Jie1
  • Wang, Fang1
  • Liu, Yihai2
  • Wu, Mingyue2
  • Jiang, Yan1
  • Zhou, Yujie1
  • Sha, Dujuan1
  • 1 the Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing , (China)
  • 2 Clinical College of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing , (China)
Published Article
JMIR Mental Health
JMIR Publications
Publication Date
Jan 20, 2021
DOI: 10.2196/23125
PMID: 33341754
PMCID: PMC7819543
PubMed Central
  • Original Paper
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Background The outbreak of COVID-19 has dominated headlines worldwide. The number of infections has continued to rise and had reached 30,000 worldwide at the time this paper was written. Because of the high risk of nosocomial transmission, medical health care workers may be experiencing substantial psychological stress. This descriptive study aimed to identify psychosocial effects on hospital staff associated with working in a hospital environment during the COVID-19 outbreak. Objective Our survey participants included 57 frontline clinicians working at Wuhan First Hospital and 157 medical students working at Jiangsu Provincial People’s Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak. The questionnaire we adopted included questions regarding the participants’ personal well-being, sociodemographic characteristics, and psychological status. Methods 57 frontline clinicians working in Wuhan First Hospital and 157 medical training students working in Jiangsu Provincial Peoples Hospital during this outbreak participated in our survey. The questionnaire we adopted included questions regarding the participants’ personal well-being, sociodemographic characteristics and the psychological status. Results The COVID-19 outbreak had psychological impacts both on formal workers and medical students. The psychological effects included sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. There was no significant difference between the group of formal workers and medical students ( P =.85), and more than 50% (30/54, 56%, vs. 83/157, 52.9%) of the respondents reported pandemic-related mental disorders. Conclusions Our study indicates that the high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure caused substantial psychological stress among health care workers. This finding emphasizes the need to promote psychological crisis intervention for medical personnel during this epidemic.

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