Physical and mental health outcomes including behavior and attitudes in people having social contacts with COVID-19 patients

Zijun Xu, Dexing Zhang (Corresponding Author), Dong Xu, Xue Li, Yaojie Xie, Wen Sun, Eric Kam-Pui Lee, Benjamin Hon Kei Yip, Phoenix Kit-Han Mo, Shuiyuan Xiao, Samuel Yeung Shan Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection has spread worldwide since late 2019. People who have social contacts with COVID-19 patients might be at higher risk of physical or mental health problems. This study investigated whether people who had social contacts with COVID-19 patients would have poorer physical or mental outcomes, and different attitudes and behaviors. Chinese adults were recruited to fill in an online survey using snowball sampling during 21st-26nd February 2020. Physical symptoms, psychological outcomes, quality of life, COVID-19 related attitudes, and behaviors were measured. The differences in the outcomes between participants who had COVID-19 social contacts and those who had not were analyzed. The survey included 1,447 non-infected eligible participants. Among those, 173 (12.0%) reported at least one confirmed/suspected case in their social contacts. In the multiple regression adjusted for demographic data, the presence of confirmed/suspected infection cases in one’s social contacts was significantly associated with poorer physical and mental outcomes, lower health-related quality of life, and different COVID-19 related attitudes and behaviors (p<0.05). In conclusion, people who had social contacts with COVID-19 patients were at risk of adverse health outcomes. Future studies are needed to understand the long-term impacts. Similarly, strategies to improve health outcomes for these people are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0245945
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)

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