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Psychological impact on women health workers involved in COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan: a cross-sectional study
  1. Guo Li1,
  2. Jinfeng Miao1,
  3. Hui Wang2,
  4. Shabei Xu1,
  5. Wenzhe Sun1,
  6. Yebin Fan3,
  7. Chenyan Zhang1,
  8. Suiqiang Zhu1,
  9. Zhou Zhu1,
  10. Wei Wang1
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China
  2. 2 Nursing Department, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China
  3. 3 School of Computer Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hubei, Wuhan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zhou Zhu, Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, China; zhouzhu{at}

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The outbreak of COVID-19 poses an unprecedented threat and a great challenge to health workers (HWs) in Wuhan, China.1 The situation of women HWs in Wuhan is even more difficult. According to 2019 Chinese Health Statistics Yearbook, the number of women HWs in China accounted for 71.8% of Chinese HWs, far exceeding that of men HWs. Women HWs has become the major force to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic. Owing to entrenched traditional social roles in China, women HWs are placed at a considerable dilemma of how to balance work and family care. Previous studies have also suggested that women were vulnerable to mental health problems.2 The mental health problems of women HWs may affect their attention and decision-making ability and could have a lasting effect on their overall well-being. Hence, psychological impact of COVID-19 on women HWs in Wuhan should be pronounced.

Tongji Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Wuhan, was officially designated as ‘the specific hospital for the treatment of severe patients with COVID-19’, with a women HWs proportion of 81.0%. This hospital has opened 2000 beds specifically for patients with severe COVID-19, and women HWs from all clinic departments of this hospital are sent to the frontline of COVID-19. Given the high infectivity of the COVID-19, the hospital administrators arranged lodging support for the frontline HWs living apart from their families. A cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate the immediate psychological impact on women HWs of Tongji Hospital, determine the predictors of acute stress, depression and anxiety symptoms and investigate the sources of acute stress among the women HWs.


Study design and participants

The study was a cross-sectional, single-centre survey, covering doctors, nurses and medical technicians in all clinical departments of Tongji Hospital. The study was conducted between 8 February and 15 February 2020, …

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  • Contributors GL, JM and HW contributed equally. Concept and design: SZ, ZZ and WW; acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data: all authors; drafting of the manuscript: ZZ and GL; statistical analysis: GL and JM; obtained funding: SZ and SX; supervision: SZ, ZZ and WW.

  • Funding This study was supported by grants 2017YFC1310000 from the National Key Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, 2018KFYXMPT015 from Research and Development Office of Huazhong University of Science and Technology and 2020020401010096 from Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau.

  • Disclaimer The funder/sponsor had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The institutional ethics board of Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology approved the study and provided ethics approval number: TJ-C20200129.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.