The Attitude towards Preventive Measures and Knowledge of COVID-19 Inpatients with Severe Mental Illness in Economically Underdeveloped Areas of China

Ju Hong Zhu, Wen Li, Xiao Ning Huo, Hong Min Jin, Chun Hu Zhang, Jin De Yun, Li Guo Gao, Teris Cheung, Brian J. Hall, Bin Yang, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Patients with severe mental illnesses (SMI) were at high risk of infection during Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study examined hospitalized SMI patients’ attitude and knowledge towards the COVID-19 infection. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in five psychiatric hospitals located in Gansu province, the most economically underdeveloped area in China. Patients’ attitude towards preventive measures and knowledge of COVID-19 were measured by a self-report questionnaire. A total of 925 hospitalized patients with SMI were recruited. Of them, 84.8% (95%CI: 82.4%–87.1%) had positive attitudes towards preventive measures of the COVID-19 outbreak. Being married (OR: 1.55, 95%CI: 1.05–2.30) and a higher educational level (OR: 1.63, 95%CI: 1.12–2.38) were independently associated with positive attitudes towards COVID-19 preventive measures, whereas higher educational level was associated with better knowledge of the COVID-19 outbreak (β: 0.231, P < 0.001). Patients mainly received COVID-19 relevant knowledge from public media (58.9%), followed by their clinicians (33.2%). Most hospitalized SMI patients in economically underdeveloped areas in China showed positive attitudes towards COVID-19 preventive measures. However, public health education on COVID-19 relevant knowledge by mental health professionals was inadequate to reduce the risk of transmission and infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Attitude
  • COVID-19
  • Economically underdeveloped
  • Severe mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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