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Mental Health Problems in Chinese Healthcare Workers Exposed to Workplace Violence During the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Propensity Score Matching Analysis

Authors Wang W, Lu L, Kelifa MM, Yu Y, He A, Cao N, Zheng S, Yan W, Yang Y

Received 2 September 2020

Accepted for publication 5 November 2020

Published 3 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2827—2833

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S279170

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Wei Wang,1,* Lili Lu,2,* Mohammedhamid Mohammedosman Kelifa,3 Yan Yu,3 Anqi He,3 Na Cao,3 Si Zheng,3 Wenjun Yan,1 Yinmei Yang3

1School of Public Health, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Gastroenterology, The Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Wei Wang
School of Public Health, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-15152118260
Email [email protected]
Yinmei Yang
School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-15071458786
Email [email protected]

Objective: This study aimed at examining the effect of medical workplace violence (MWV) on the mental health of Chinese healthcare workers during the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Methods: An anonymous online survey was issued to Chinese healthcare workers (N=1063) from 31 provinces and autonomous regions between February 13th and February 20th. Mental health was measured by the Chinese Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21). Medical workplace violence was measured using a single item, whether any type of workplace violence was experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak. Propensity score matching was used to assess the impact of MWV on mental health.
Results: Out of 1063, 217 (20.4%) reported experiencing MWV during the COVID-19 outbreak. Before matching, MWV was correlated with elevated mental health problems (b=8.248, p< 0.001), after adjusting for other variables. After matching, Chinese healthcare workers who experienced MWV were more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those who did not.
Conclusion: MWV exerts a detrimental effect on mental health among Chinese healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is necessary to create a more supportive and safer work environment for healthcare workers at this special context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: workplace violence, mental health, COVID-19, propensity score

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