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Psychological status and behavior changes of the public during the COVID-19 epidemic in China.
Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 May 29; 9(1):58.ID

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A cluster of pneumonia cases were reported by Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China in December 2019. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified, and became the COVID-19 epidemic that affected public health and life. We investigated the psychological status and behavior changes of the general public in China from January 30 to February 3, 2020.

METHODS

Respondents were recruited via social media (WeChat) and completed an online questionnaire. We used the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Self-rating Depression Scale, and Symptom Checklist-90 to evaluate psychological status. We also investigated respondents' behavior changes. Quantitative data were analyzed by t-tests or analysis of variance, and classified data were analyzed with chi-square tests.

RESULTS

In total, 608 valid questionnaires were obtained. More respondents had state anxiety than trait anxiety (15.8% vs 4.0%). Depression was found among 27.1% of respondents and 7.7% had psychological abnormalities. About 10.1% of respondents suffered from phobia. Our analysis of the relationship between subgroup characteristics and psychological status showed that age, gender, knowledge about COVID-19, degree of worry about epidemiological infection, and confidence about overcoming the outbreak significantly influenced psychological status. Around 93.3% of respondents avoided going to public places and almost all respondents reduced Spring Festival-related activities. At least 70.9% of respondents chose to take three or more preventive measures to avoid infection. The three most commonly used prevention measures were making fewer trips outside and avoiding contact (98.0%), wearing a mask (83.7%), and hand hygiene (82.4%).

CONCLUSIONS

We need to pay more attention to public psychological stress, especially among young people, as they are likely to experience anxiety, depression, and psychological abnormalities. Different psychological interventions could be formulated according to the psychological characteristics of different gender and age groups. The majority of respondents followed specific behaviors required by the authorities, but it will take time to observe the effects of these behaviors on the epidemic.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China. Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center of Molecular Imaging, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China. Department of Nursing, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.Department of Infectious Diseases, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China. xiajinyu@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32471513

Citation

Liu, Xi, et al. "Psychological Status and Behavior Changes of the Public During the COVID-19 Epidemic in China." Infectious Diseases of Poverty, vol. 9, no. 1, 2020, p. 58.
Liu X, Luo WT, Li Y, et al. Psychological status and behavior changes of the public during the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020;9(1):58.
Liu, X., Luo, W. T., Li, Y., Li, C. N., Hong, Z. S., Chen, H. L., Xiao, F., & Xia, J. Y. (2020). Psychological status and behavior changes of the public during the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 9(1), 58. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00678-3
Liu X, et al. Psychological Status and Behavior Changes of the Public During the COVID-19 Epidemic in China. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 May 29;9(1):58. PubMed PMID: 32471513.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychological status and behavior changes of the public during the COVID-19 epidemic in China. AU - Liu,Xi, AU - Luo,Wen-Tao, AU - Li,Ying, AU - Li,Chun-Na, AU - Hong,Zhong-Si, AU - Chen,Hui-Li, AU - Xiao,Fei, AU - Xia,Jin-Yu, Y1 - 2020/05/29/ PY - 2020/02/26/received PY - 2020/05/19/accepted PY - 2020/5/31/entrez PY - 2020/5/31/pubmed PY - 2020/6/5/medline KW - Anxiety KW - Behavior changes KW - COVID-19 KW - Depression KW - Phobia KW - Psychological stress KW - Public psychological status SP - 58 EP - 58 JF - Infectious diseases of poverty JO - Infect Dis Poverty VL - 9 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: A cluster of pneumonia cases were reported by Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China in December 2019. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified, and became the COVID-19 epidemic that affected public health and life. We investigated the psychological status and behavior changes of the general public in China from January 30 to February 3, 2020. METHODS: Respondents were recruited via social media (WeChat) and completed an online questionnaire. We used the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Self-rating Depression Scale, and Symptom Checklist-90 to evaluate psychological status. We also investigated respondents' behavior changes. Quantitative data were analyzed by t-tests or analysis of variance, and classified data were analyzed with chi-square tests. RESULTS: In total, 608 valid questionnaires were obtained. More respondents had state anxiety than trait anxiety (15.8% vs 4.0%). Depression was found among 27.1% of respondents and 7.7% had psychological abnormalities. About 10.1% of respondents suffered from phobia. Our analysis of the relationship between subgroup characteristics and psychological status showed that age, gender, knowledge about COVID-19, degree of worry about epidemiological infection, and confidence about overcoming the outbreak significantly influenced psychological status. Around 93.3% of respondents avoided going to public places and almost all respondents reduced Spring Festival-related activities. At least 70.9% of respondents chose to take three or more preventive measures to avoid infection. The three most commonly used prevention measures were making fewer trips outside and avoiding contact (98.0%), wearing a mask (83.7%), and hand hygiene (82.4%). CONCLUSIONS: We need to pay more attention to public psychological stress, especially among young people, as they are likely to experience anxiety, depression, and psychological abnormalities. Different psychological interventions could be formulated according to the psychological characteristics of different gender and age groups. The majority of respondents followed specific behaviors required by the authorities, but it will take time to observe the effects of these behaviors on the epidemic. SN - 2049-9957 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32471513/Psychological_status_and_behavior_changes_of_the_public_during_the_COVID_19_epidemic_in_China_ L2 - https://idpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40249-020-00678-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -