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Insomnia Common Among Medical Staff During COVID-19 in China

Strongest link with insomnia symptoms seen for uncertainty regarding effective disease control

FRIDAY, April 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — More than one-third of medical staff members in hospitals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China reported insomnia symptoms, according to a study published online April 14 in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Chenxi Zhang, from Nanfang Hospital at the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues examined the prevalence rate of insomnia and related psychological factors among medical staff in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of 1,563 medical staff members completed a questionnaire relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, insomnia/depressive/anxiety symptoms, and stress-related symptoms.

The researchers found that 36.1 percent of participants had insomnia symptoms according to the Insomnia Severity Index. Insomnia symptoms were associated with an education level of high school or less, currently working in an isolation unit, being worried about being infected, perceived lack of helpfulness in terms of psychological support from news or social media with respect to COVID-19, and having very strong uncertainty regarding effective disease control (odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 2.69 [1.0 to 7.0], 1.71 [1.0 to 2.8], 2.30 [1.6 to 3.4], 2.10 [1.3 to 3.3], and 3.30 [1.3 to 8.5], respectively). A protective effect was seen for being a doctor (odds ratio, 0.44; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.8).

“Our findings can help provide precise interventions of insomnia for medical staff, especially for those with different sociopsychological risk factors,” the authors write. “Understanding the problems found in the insomnia group can help hospital administrations with effective mental health education and training among medical staff.”

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