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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Effect of Emerging Major Infectious Diseases on Sleep Quality of Medical Workers: Findings from Medical Workers Providing Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wen Zhu, Yue Fang, Zhong-liang Bai, Nian-nian Li, Jia-yun Zhao, Zhi Hu

(Graduate Student Affairs Office, First Affiliated Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e931881

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.931881


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has exerted immense pressure on medical systems in China and abroad. This study aimed to compare the sleep quality of medical personnel conscripted to the Wuhan Union Cancer Centre to offer support during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to the sleep quality of those who remained at Anhui Medical University Hospital and to determine the role of interventions in improving sleep quality.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Questionnaires were completed by 369 individuals who were conscripted to support Wuhan (N=137) and others who were not (the control group; N=232). The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure the duration and quality of sleep. The Anhui Provincial Health Commission organized a comprehensive intervention, consisting of physical-psychological-social dimensions, over the course of 2 weeks.
RESULTS: Only 34.21% of the Wuhan support workers reported better sleep quality, as opposed to the 55.60% of the control group at stage 1 (t/χ²=14.005, P<.001). Furthermore, despite the Wuhan support group being more prone to poor sleep quality, their sleep quality significantly improved after the interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study showed that medical staff who were conscripted to offer support during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic suffered from impaired quality of sleep. The use of questionnaire-based sleep assessments may provide individualized approaches to supporting medical personnel during future epidemics and pandemics. Furthermore, our results indicate that relevant interventions can significantly improve sleep quality, while a prolonged break after interventions does not affect sleep quality.

Keywords: COVID-19, Medical Staff, Hospital, Sleep

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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