MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Nearly one in 10 people in parts of China hit hardest by COVID-19 report posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), according to a study published in the May issue of Psychiatry Research.

Nianqi Liu, from the Naval Medical University in Shanghai, and colleagues assessed the prevalence and predictors of PTSS in the areas of China hardest hit during the COVID-19 outbreak. The analysis included responses from 285 residents in Wuhan and surrounding cities on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and four items from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

The researchers found that the prevalence of PTSS in China’s hardest-hit areas a month after the COVID-19 outbreak was 7 percent. Significantly higher PTSS was seen in women for the domains of re-experiencing, negative alterations in cognition or mood, and hyper-arousal. Lower PTSS was seen among respondents with better sleep quality or less frequency of early awakenings.

“Professional and effective mental health services should be designed in order to aid the psychological well-being of the population in affected areas, especially those living in hardest-hit areas, females, and people with poor sleep quality,” the authors write.

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