Mental distress among Liberian medical staff working at the China Ebola Treatment Unit: A cross sectional study

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Abstract

Background: Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa not only triggered a grave public health crisis, but also exerted and induced huge mental distress on medical staff, which would negatively influence epidemic control and social rebuilt furthermore. We chose the local medical staff working at the China Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) to explore the severity of potential mental distress and involved potential causes. Methods: A descriptive study using the Symptom Check List 90 - Revised (SCL90-R) questionnaire to assess psychological health status was conducted among 52 Liberian medical staff. Global indices, including Global Severity Index (GSI), Positive Symptom Total (PST) and Positive Symptom Distress Index (PSDI), and nine subscales based on 90 inquiry items were compared among gender, work duty and other subgroups. Data were analyzed using Graphpad Prism and SPSS software. Results: Mental distress among participants was not very serious; only PSDI, paranoid ideation and interpersonal sensitivity numerically increased relative to changes in other categories. While male medics and those responsible for cleaning and disinfection showed significant increases in scores for psychological dimensions, such as obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, phobic anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoid ideation and positive symptom total. Conclusions: Data of this study implies that the psychological health status of medical staff within the special social environment of an Ebola treatment unit should warrant more attention.

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Li, L., Wan, C., Ding, R., Liu, Y., Chen, J., Wu, Z., … Li, C. (2015). Mental distress among Liberian medical staff working at the China Ebola Treatment Unit: A cross sectional study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-015-0341-2

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