Geographical distribution and prevalence of mental disorders among healthcare workers in China: A cross-sectional country-wide survey A cross-sectional study to assess mental disorders of healthcare workers in China

Xiaoguang Yang, Danni Chen, Yuntao Chen, Nan Wang, Chao Lyv, Yao Li, Junqin Jie, Taiqi Zhou, Yongbin Li*, Ping Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Background Reliable and detailed nationwide data on the prevalence and distribution of mental disorders among healthcare workers in China during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak are scarce.

    Methods We did a cross-sectional online survey from March 2 to 2 April 2020 and a total of 19,379 healthcare workers from 25 provinces participated. Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) and PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), respectively.

    Results The age-standardized prevalence of depression, anxiety and PTSD was 15.5%, 12.7% and 5.2%, respectively. Frontline workers had higher prevalence estimates than non-frontline workers (depression: 18.2% vs. 13.9%; anxiety: 14.7% vs. 11.6%; PTSD: 6.1% vs. 4.6%). Subgroups who were nurses, were married or had dependent children reported higher prevalence of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Despite of the large variations, the prevalence of mental disorders was lowest in East China, followed by Middle China, and highest in West China.

    Conclusion Healthcare workers faced enormous stress not only from the direct risk presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, but also from the profound changes in their professional practice. Prevalence of adverse psychological outcomes has a significant association with geographically distribution of health resources and regional economic level. Sufficient medical resource may be a protective factor to mental health condition of healthcare personnel when such a public health emergency happened.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1561‐1574
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
    Issue number5
    Early online date8-May-2021
    Publication statusPublished - Nov-2021


    • anxiety
    • depression
    • frontline
    • healthcare worker
    • pandemic
    • post&#8208
    • traumatic stress disorder
    • social disparity
    • DISEASE 2019 COVID-19

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