Psychological stress of medical staffs during outbreak of COVID-19 and adjustment strategy

J Med Virol. 2020 Oct;92(10):1962-1970. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25914. Epub 2020 Jun 29.


COVID-19 has a significant impact on public health and poses a challenge to medical staffs, especially to front-line medical staffs who are exposed to and in direct contact with patients. To understand the psychological stress status of medical staffs during the outbreak of COVID-19, random sample questionnaire survey was conducted among 2110 medical staffs and 2158 college students in all provinces of China through a questionnaire, which was compiled and completed through the Questionnaire Star platform relying on Wechat, QQ, and other social software. The differences in psychological stress status of different groups were compared through the analysis of the questionnaire. Results revealed that in all provinces of China, medical staffs scored significantly higher on all items of psychological stress than college students (P < .001). In Wuhan, medical staffs scored significantly higher than college students in all items of psychological stress (P < .001). While among medical staffs, the group in Wuhan area scored significantly higher than the group outside Wuhan on the following items: "Thought of being in danger," "The possibility of self-illness," "Worrying about family infection" (P < .05), "Poor sleep quality," "Needing psychological guidance," and "Worrying about being infected" (P < .01) in the Psychological Stress Questionnaire, but on the item "Confidence in the victory of the epidemic," the group in Wuhan area scored significantly lower than the group outside Wuhan (P < .05). The emotion, cognition, physical, and mental response of front-line medical staff showed obvious "exposure effect", which calls for a psychological crisis intervention strategy that can be helpful.

Keywords: COVID-19; artificial intelligence technology; medical staffs; psychological stress; public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult