Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology

Psychological Status of Clinical Laboratory Staff During the COVID-19 Outbreak


Department of Clinical Laboratory, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Yiwu, Zhejiang, China


Department of Psychiatry, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Yiwu, Zhejiang, China

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2021; 31: 206-212
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2021.21847
Read: 1099 Downloads: 82 Published: 28 June 2021

Background: In early December 2019, during the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which was first detected in Wuhan, COVID-19 was suspected, detected, and confirmed in an increasing number of patients every day. The clinical laboratory staff have always played an important role in the laboratory diagnosis of patients. Currently, there are many research studies on the mental health of the first-line doctors or nurses managing the COVID-19 outbreak, both domestically and overseas, but data of the mental health and associated factors among the clinical laboratory staff who handle the blood or biological samples of confirmed cases and are consequently exposed to COVID-19 are limited.

Methods: This cross-sectional survey-based study was performed via an online survey in a single designated hospital from April 20 to April 23, 2020 in Yiwu,China. The online survey included questions on sociodemographic and clinical variables. Totally, 45 clinical laboratory staff and 20 nonmedical health workers participated. Mental health variables were assessed via 4 Chinese versions of validated measurement tools : Zung's Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), Zung's Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ).

Results: Significant differences were observed in the SDS and SAS scores, between the clinical laboratory staff and the nonmedical health workers (P < .001, P < .003, respectively). The scores for exposure risk and neuroticism of participants were the main factors influencing both the SDS scores of the clinical laboratory staff (P = .002, P = .005, respectively), and also their SAS scores (P = .003 P = .006, respectively).

Conclusions: The results showed that a significant proportion of clinical laboratory staff experienced anxiety and depression symptoms. Their scores for mental health problems, exposure risk, and neuroticism were associated with severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therefore, the high-risk group of the clinical laboratory staff and those individuals with higher neuroticism scores may need special attention.

Cite this article as: Cheng C, Rao Y, Lu Y. Psychological status of clinical laboratory staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. Psychiatr Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021; 31(2): 206-212.

EISSN 2475-0581