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The COVID-19 outbreak required the significantly increased working time and intensity for health professionals in China, which may cause stress signs.
From March 2–13 of 2020, 4,618 health professionals in China were included in an anonymous, self-rated online survey regarding their concerns on exposure to the COVID-19 outbreak. The questionnaires consisted of five parts: basic demographic information and epidemiological exposure; occupational and psychological impact; concerns during the episode; coping strategies; and the Huaxi Emotional-Distress Index (HEI).
About 24.2% of respondents experienced high levels of anxiety or/and depressive symptoms since the COVID-19 outbreak. Respondents who worried about their physical health and those who had COVID-19 infected friends or close relatives were more likely to have high HEI levels, than those without these characteristics. Further, family relationship was found to have an independent protective effect against high HEI levels. Their main concerns were that their families would not be cared for and that they would not be able to work properly. Compared to respondents with clear emotional problems, those with somewhat hidden emotional issues adopted more positive coping measures.
About a quarter of medical staff experienced psychological problems during the pandemic of COVID-19. The psychological impact of stressful events was related to worrying about their physical health, having close COVID-19 infected acquaintances and family relationship issues. Therefore, the psychological supprot for medical staff fighting in the COVID-19 pandemic may be needed.
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