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Mental Health Symptoms Up for Medics Dealing With COVID-19

Mean Symptom Checklist-90 score significantly higher for medical personnel responding to COVID-19

stressed nurse

TUESDAY, May 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The scores for mental health symptoms in medical personnel responding to COVID-19 pneumonia are generally higher than the norm in China, according to a study published online May 19 in PLOS ONE.

Jun Xing, from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in China, and colleagues examined the mental health status of 548 medical personnel dealing with COVID-19 pneumonia in eight provinces and cities in China using the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90).

The researchers found that compared with the norm group, medical personnel had a significantly higher overall mean SCL-90 score and mean values of factors (somatization, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, phobic anxiety, and psychoticism), while their average interpersonal sensitivity score was significantly lower. Personal factors were identified that affected the mental health status of medical personnel; these factors included the degree of suspicion that they were infected when COVID-19-related symptoms occurred, the level of concern regarding whether they or their family members had been infected, their age, and whether family members support them working on the front line.

"For medical personnel, it is particularly important to pay attention to mental health conditions while fulfilling their responsibilities," the authors write. "In future research, it is worth exploring how to strengthen the monitoring of mental health conditions of medical personnel and establish an active, systematic, and scientific psychological defense system under such special circumstances."

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