Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 438-444

The psychological impact of COVID-19 on the families of first-line rescuers

1 Department of Mental Health, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China
2 Department of Psychiatry, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wei-Hui Li
Department of Psychiatry, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, No. 139, Renmin Middle Road, Changsha 410011, Hunan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_1057_20

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Under the COVID-19 epidemic, the families of front-line rescue workers are under unusual pressure. We aim to understand the extent of their psychological distress in this epidemic and whether they have received sufficient support. Thus targeted to provide support for them and indirectly reduce the concerns of the rescue workers. From February 27 to March 1, 2020, we used the scales of Perceived Stress Scale, 10-items Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Patient Health Questionnaire-2, and primary care-posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to evaluate the mental health level of the family members of front-line rescue workers online. Six hundred and seventy one family members voluntarily filled out the questionnaire after reading the purpose of the study. A total of 671 family members of front-line rescue workers participated in the survey, including 194 husbands/wives, 52 parents, 49 children, 76 brothers and sisters, and 300 other relationships. Among them, 55% of the family members reported sleep problems, 49.0% of the family members had mild, and above anxiety symptoms, 12.2% of the family members reported clinically significant depression symptoms, and 10.4% of the family members may have PTSD, 8.3% of family members had thoughts of self-injury or suicide. The feeling of stress was positively correlated with anxiety and depression, but there was no significant correlation between psychological elasticity and various symptoms. Family members who are more worried about the safety, physical condition and living security of front-line rescue workers are more likely to report symptoms such as sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. Family members' first-line rescue has a significant impact on their daily life, raising children and supporting the elderly, which is also related to the occurrence of mental and psychological symptoms. During the period of front-line support, they received support from the units or organizations of the first-line workers, mainly including telephone greetings and daily necessities. The top three concerns about the information of the epidemic were the time of the end of the epidemic, the time of the return of the family and the progress of COVID-19's treatment. After the end of the epidemic, what they most want to do is to pay more attention to and accompany their families, family gatherings, and do more exercise. The psychological impact of this epidemic on the families of front-line rescue workers is mainly sleep problems and anxiety. The psychological intervention of family members should mainly start from the relief of stress and increase of material and spiritual support.



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