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Study: More than one-third of medical staff responding to coronavirus suffer from insomnia

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 14-04-2020
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Study: More than one-third of medical staff responding to coronavirus suffer from insomnia
Study: More than one-third of medical staff responding to coronavirus suffer from insomnia
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More than a third of medical staff responding to COVID-19 during its peak in China may have suffered from insomnia, according to a study which suggests that the pandemic is not just a physical health threat, but may also be triggering a mental health epidemic. According to the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, healthcare workers who experienced sleeplessness following their hospital shifts were also more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and have stress-based trauma.

"Typically, stress-related insomnia is transient and persists for only a few days," said Bin Zhang, a professor at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and study co-author. "But if the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the insomnia may gradually become chronic insomnia in the clinical setting," Zhang said. In the study, the scientists used the social media platform WeChat to survey 1,563 participants with self-administered questionnaires.

The surveys were conducted between January 29 and February 3 at the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, they said. Of the 1,563 participants, the study noted that 564 people, or 36.1 per cent, had insomnia symptoms. According to the scientists, the current study statistic is consistent with previous research conducted on the psychological effects of the 2002 outbreak of SARS - a related coronavirus that also causes severe respiratory distress.

Based on earlier studies, the researchers said 37 per cent of nurses who worked with SARS patients experienced insomnia. In the current study, the insomnia group experienced significantly higher levels of depression than the non-insomnia group - 87.1 per cent versus 31 per cent, especially in moderate and severe cases, they said. The percentages and differences between the groups was also similar for anxiety and trauma, the researchers noted in the study.
Study: More than one-third of medical staff responding to coronavirus suffer from insomnia
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