Hong Kong nurses’ stress level and post-traumatic stress disorder during the outbreak of COVID -19 and the associations with their daily lives

Yao Jie Xie, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen, Simon Lam, Dexing Zhang, Linjia Yan, Daniel Bressington

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a pandemic public health issue worldwide. Nurses might be under tremendous stress and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the spread of such public health complex emergency. The purpose of this study was to understand Hong Kong nurses’ stress level and PTSD and to investigate the associations with their daily lives during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Methods: From April to June 2020, we conducted an online survey among Hong Kong nurses under the support from the Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff (AHKNS). The 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and the 17-item Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) were used to evaluate the perceived stress level and PTSD, respectively. The self-perceived influence of COVID-19 outbreak on daily life factors were measured by the 0-to-10 Numerical Rating Scales. Higher score indicated higher influenced daily life status.
Results: We enrolled 854 nurses in this study. The mean age was 41.8±11.7 years. Around 10% of the nurses were males. The mean total score of PSS-10 and DTS were18.21±5.50 and 30.2±26.37, respectively. Almost 80% of the nurses had moderate and high level of perceived stress (PSS-10 score≥14); and 50.9% of the nurses were considered having PTSD (DTS total score≥40). The social intercourse activity (score=7.31), daily routine and arrangement (score=6.84), and physical activity (score=6.09) were the three most influenced daily life factors. According to the Pearson correlation analysis, higher scores of PSS-10 and DTS were significantly correlated with higher self-perceived influence on all daily life factors (all P<0.001). The most correlated factor was sleep (βstress=0.40, βPTSD=0.54) and work productivity (βstress=0.38, βPTSD=0.43), followed by diet for PSTD (βPTSD=0.39) and daily routine and arrangement for stress (βstress=0.38).
Conclusion: Hong Kong nurses had high level of stress and PTSD during the outbreak of COVID-19. These mental health issues were significantly associated with their daily lives, especially the influenced social intercourse activities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021

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