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The impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health in general population in different areas in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2020

Mao-Sheng Ran
Affiliation:
Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Ru Gao
Affiliation:
Ya'an Fourth People's Hospital, Ya'an, Sichuan 625000, China
Jing-Xia Lin
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Tian-Ming Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Social Work, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
Sherry Kit Wa Chan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Xiao-Peng Deng
Affiliation:
Jingzhou Mental Health Center, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China Institute of Mental Health of Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China
Bing-Zhi Zhang
Affiliation:
Ya'an Fourth People's Hospital, Ya'an, Sichuan 625000, China
Xin-Feng Zhang
Affiliation:
Jingzhou Mental Health Center, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China Institute of Mental Health of Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China
Guo-Ping Huang
Affiliation:
School of Mental Health, North Sichuan Medical College, Sichuan 637000, China
Dao-Shen Pu
Affiliation:
Ya'an Fourth People's Hospital, Ya'an, Sichuan 625000, China
Jing-Zhen Bai
Affiliation:
Ya'an Fourth People's Hospital, Ya'an, Sichuan 625000, China
Liu-Xiu Xu
Affiliation:
Ya'an Fourth People's Hospital, Ya'an, Sichuan 625000, China
Bo Liu
Affiliation:
Jingzhou Mental Health Center, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China Institute of Mental Health of Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434000, China
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.

Methods

This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.

Results

There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.

Conclusions

The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

*

First-authors: Mao-Sheng Ran, Ru Gao, and Jing-Xia Lin.

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