BACKGROUND The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) pandemic infiltrates every aspect of our life, including the psychological impact. China has experienced the first wave of this epidemic, and it is now affecting the global population.AIM This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD) among the general Chinese population.METHODS A detailed questionnaire, comprising of 38 questions designed in both English and Chinese, was developed. The survey was conducted via We Chat, a multipurpose messaging, social media, and mobile payment app, which is widely used by the Chinese population.RESULTS In total, 1082 individuals from 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities participated in the survey by filling the questionnaires through the We Chat app. 97.8% of the participants had an Impact of Event-Scale-Revised(IES-R) total score above 20, which is an indicator of PTSD. The IES-R total and all the three subscales, including intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal, are significantly correlated with age. In addition, age, profession, marital status, and level of education are significantly correlated with the degree of PTSD symptoms.CONCLUSION The COVID-19 epidemic has widely caused PTSD among the general Chinese population. These results bear important implications for regions struggling with the pandemic to implement effective interventions to cope with these mental health problems.

COVID-19; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Impact of Event-Scale-Revised; China;


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