Published time: 29 March 2020
Authors: Y. Shi, J. Wang, Y. Yang, Z. Wang, G. Wang, K. Hashimoto, K. Zhang,
Keywords: COVID-19, Knowledge, Attitudes, Psychiatrists, Nurse
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 a pandemic. There are patients in psychiatric hospitals in China who have been infected with COVID-19, however, the knowledge and attitudes of psychiatric hospital staff towards infectious diseases and their willingness to work during the COVID-19 outbreak has not yet been investigated. This study was performed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of medical staff in two Chinese mental health centers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We included141 psychiatrists and 170 psychiatric nurses in the study. We found that during the COVID-19 epidemic, 89.51%of the medical staff of the psychiatric hospitals studied had extensive knowledge of COVID-19, and 64.63% of them received the relevant training in hospitals. Furthermore, about 77.17% of participants expressed a willingness to care for psychiatric patients suffering from COVID-19 virus infection. Independent predictors of willingness to care for patients included advanced training and experience of caring for patients with COVID-19. In conclusion, this study suggests that increased attention should be paid to the knowledge and attitudes of the medical staff at psychiatric hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.1. IntroductionSince December 2019, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread from Wuhan city to other cities in China and around the world(Wang et al., 2020). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization(WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. As of March 15, 2020, there had been 81,058 confirmed cases and 3204 deaths due to the virus in China. A cross-sectional epidemiological study in China reported that the weighted lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders excluding dementia was 16.6% (95% CI: 13.0–20.2) (Huang et al., 2019). It is estimated that tens of millions of people with psychiatric disorders in China are at risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus. More than one hundred patients with psychiatric disorders in Wuhan city have been infected with the virus. Psychiatric medical staff is faced with the task of treating psychiatric patients infected with COVID-19. The virus is highly infectious and has a fatality rate of about 4% in China (Chen et al., 2020b). Because of the high risk of infection, psychiatric medical staff must work under great pressure when dealing with these patients. The knowledge and attitudes of medical staff in Chinese psychiatric hospitals regarding COVID-19 are important in achieving victory in the battle against the epidemic. Previous studies have explored the knowledge and attitudes of medical staff towards infectious diseases and their willingness to work during an epidemic (Askarian et al., 2007; Sarani et al., 2016; Angelilloet al., 2001; Daugherty et al., 2009). Ma et al., reported on a study of the knowledge and attitudes of critical care clinicians during the 2009 H1N1influenza pandemic. They found that only 82.3% of medical staff expressed a willingness to care for H1N1 patients. However, there is no study focused on psychiatric medical staff during an epidemic outbreak. The purpose of our study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of medical staff in Chinese mental health centers during the COVID-19outbreak. In addition, we tried to identify independent factors affecting* Corresponding author.
Knowledge and attitudes of medical staff in Chinese psychiatric hospitalsregarding COVID-19