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Psychological and Emotional Responses during Different Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic Based on a Survey of a Mental Health Hotline

Shuna Peng1, Xiaohong Luo1, Shiyu Liang1, Fengning Deng1, Yuning Liu2, Hong Zeng1,*, Xuesong Yang3,*

1 Department of Psychology, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510006, China
2Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ, UK
3 Division of Histology and Embryology, Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Education, Medical College, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China

* Corresponding Authors: Hong Zeng. Email: email; Xuesong Yang. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(5), 711-724.


Background: The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in 2019 triggered psychological and emotional responses. This research investigates the psychological status and emotional problems of those who sought psychological assistance during the epidemic period by calling a mental health hotline. Methods: This study aims to combine qualitative and quantitative research. Descriptive analysis was used for undertaking qualitative research. We analyzed the data from group 1 (n = 706), in which the people used the mental health hotline from 25 January 2020 to 23 June 2020. A self-designed questionnaire was developed in accordance with the classification and summarized items from group 1’s psychological problems and emotional status. To implement the quantitative research, we conducted a cross-sectional descriptive survey and used the self-compiled scale and HADS to investigate group 2 (n = 553) from May 2020 to June 2020. Results: Descriptive statistics and comparative analysis revealed that: ① Visitors mainly reported behavior, emotional, family relationship problems and sleep disorders. ② Anxiety, comorbidities, sleep disorders and coping problems were the most frequently reported problems. ③ There were significant differences in the number of visitors experiencing various problems or exhibiting harmful behaviors (sorrow, worry, fear, depression, sleep disorders, self-harm or suicide, and coping problems, anxiety, hypochondria, and comorbidity) in the four stages of the epidemic. ④ More than a quarter of participants still suffered from anxiety or depression in the later stages of the epidemic. Conclusion: Different problems manifested at different stages of the epidemic, and psychological interventions and assistance should be tailored to reflect this.


Cite This Article

Peng, S., Luo, X., Liang, S., Deng, F., Liu, Y. et al. (2022). Psychological and Emotional Responses during Different Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic Based on a Survey of a Mental Health Hotline. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(5), 711–724.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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