Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a public health emergency of international concern and has caused traumatic experience for nurses worldwide. However, the prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in nurses, and how psychosocial factors influence nurses in this public crisis are unknown.
To determine the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health of nurses and the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms among nurses in China during the outbreak.
A cross-sectional study.
Settings and participants
A total of 3,228 nurses in Sichuan Province and Wuhan City were selected by convenience sampling. All participants were invited to complete the questionnaire through WeChat from January 27 to February 3, 2020.
A self-reported questionnaire combining depression and anxiety scale was used to collect data anonymously. Binary and multivariate logistic regression was applied to measure the odds of psychosocial factors of anxiety and depression and perceived health, respectively.
The total incidence of depression (34.3%) and anxiety (18.1%) during the COVID-19 outbreak was lower than that during the SARS outbreak; however, the rate of depression in our study (47.1%) was high and similar in a recent study (50.4%) about the health care workers exposed to COVID-19 in China. The results indicated that COVID-19-related stress, relationship quality with family, and demographic characteristics were associated with depression, anxiety, and perceived health status. Furthermore, the prevalence of depression was similar between nurses working in low-risk COVID-19 wards was as high as working in high-risk COVID-19 wards (OR, 1.078; 95% CI, 0.784–1.481).
Our study revealed the high prevalence of depression and anxiety among nurses during the outbreak of COVID-19. COVID-19 factors and psychosocial factors were associated with mental health of nurses. The results suggest that hospitals should implement effective mental health promotion programs focused on occupational safety and family support to improve the well-being of nurses.