Sleep disturbances among medical workers during the outbreak of COVID-2019

Occup Med (Lond). 2020 Jul 17;70(5):364-369. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqaa074.


Background: The outbreak of Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) has posed unprecedented pressure and threats to healthcare workers in Wuhan and the entire country.

Aims: To assess the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on the sleep quality of healthcare workers in a children's healthcare centre in Wuhan.

Methods: A cross-sectional, anonymized, self-reported questionnaire survey was conducted at the Children's Healthcare Centre of Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. The questionnaire consisted of three parts, including socio-demographic characteristics and COVID-19 epidemic-related factors, the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), and Zung's self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and self-rating depression scale (SDS).

Results: In total, 47 out of 123 (38%) participants with PSQI scores > 7 were identified as having sleep disturbance. A logistic regression analysis showed that sleep disturbance was independently associated with being an only child (adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.40 (1.21-9.57), P < 0.05), exposure to COVID-19 patients (adjusted OR and 95% CI 2.97 (1.08-8.18), P < 0.05) and depression (adjusted OR and 95% CI 2.83 (1.10-7.27), P < 0.05).

Conclusions: We observed that, during the outbreak of COVID-19, sleep disturbance was highly prevalent among paediatric healthcare workers, and sleep disturbance was independently associated with being an only child, exposure to COVID-19 patients and depression. Therefore, more mental health services are required for front-line paediatric healthcare workers in Wuhan.

Keywords: COVID-19; paediatric healthcare workers; sleep disturbance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • Prevalence
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Young Adult