Prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms in health care workers after exposure to patients with COVID-19
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Objective: To investigate the prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) of health care workers (HCWs) who were potentially or directly exposed to patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a non-core epidemic area of China. Methods: Psychological conditions were evaluated by the multiple psychological evaluation scales in HCWs at the Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University in Xuzhou City (a non-core epidemic area in China) during COVID-19 epidemic. According to the risk of exposure to COVID-19 patients, HCWs were divided into two groups: HCWs with high-risk (HHCW) group (who worked in wards for COVID-19 patients) and HCWs with low-risk (LHCW) group (who worked in wards for non-COVID-19 patients in the same hospital). The clinical data of psychological evaluation scales from HCWs were collected. Results: A total of 171 HCWs were recruited in this study, with 94 (55.0%) HCWs in the HHCW group, and 77 (45.0%) HCWs in the LHCW group. Significant differences were observed in gender, work stress, job risk, and levels of fear and anxiety, and the depression between the two groups (P<0.05). The incidence of PTSS was 28.7% in HHCW group, while the incidence of PTSS was 13.0% in LHCW group. The PTSS between the two groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). Further logistic regression analysis displayed that the exposure to COVID-19, work stress and coping strategies were major risk factors associated with PTSS. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that HCWs in HHCW group had a higher chance of developing PTSS when compared with those in LHCW group. The HCWs who were exposed to COVID-19 patients had more stress and chronic stress-related disorders. Stress management should be provided to the first line HCWs who combat with COVID-19.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2020.100261
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