Epidemic of COVID-19 in China and associated Psychological Problems

Asian J Psychiatr. 2020 Jun:51:102092. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102092. Epub 2020 Apr 14.


The world is experiencing pandemic of the COVID-19 now, a RNA virus that spread out from Wuhan, China. Two countries, China first and later Italy, have gone to full lock down due to rapid spread of this virus. Till to date, no epidemiological data on mental health problems due to outbreak of the COVID-19 and mass isolation were not available. To meet this need, the present study was undertaken to assess the mental health status of Chinese people. An online survey was conducted on a sample of 1074 Chinese people, majority of whom from Hubei province. Lack of adequate opportunities to conduct face to face interview, anxiety, depression, mental well-being and alcohol consumption behavior were assessed via self-reported measures. Results showed higher rate of anxiety, depression, hazardous and harmful alcohol use, and lower mental wellbeing than usual ratio. Results also revealed that young people aged 21-40 years are in more vulnerable position in terms of their mental health conditions and alcohol use. To address mental health crisis during this epidemic, it is high time to implement multi-faceted approach (i.e. forming multidisciplinary mental health team, providing psychiatric treatments and other mental health services, utilizing online counseling platforms, rehabilitation program, ensuring certain care for vulnerable groups, etc.).

Keywords: Alcohol use disorder; Anxiety; COVID-19; China; Depression; Epidemic.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavioral Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Mental Health Services* / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • Young Adult