Exposed to Extreme Psychological Stress during the Corona Crisis; Qualitative Metasynthesis of Chinese Research on the Psychological Burden of Medical Treatment Personnel


  • Ulrich Sollmann Dipl. re. soc. Body Pschotherapist, Guest Professor at Shanghai Univesity of Political Science and Law (SHUPL)
  • Cui Feihuan Psychiatrist, Peking Medical Union Hospital, Beijing, China



The Covid-19 virus crisis is related to virology, medicine, politics, economy, lockdown, the constitution, masks, the future, and short-time work. But what about the mental health of the medical practitioners on the frontline? Experiences and research in China provide not only an insight into the almost superhuman medical performance, but also the most extreme mental stress and strain of these same practitioners. Some of the key conclusions derived from these studies may be of interest to practitioners in other countries.


Cao, J., Wei, J., Zhu, H., Duan, Y., Geng, W., Hong, X. et al. (2020). A study of basic needs and psychological wellbeing of medical workers in the fever clinic of a tertiary general hospital in Beijing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Psychother.Psychosom., 89(4), 252-254. doi:000507453 [pii];10.1159/000507453 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32224612

Chen, Q., Liang, M., Li, Y., Guo, J., Fei, D., Wang, L. et al. (2020). Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lancet.Psychiatry, 7(4), e15-e16. doi:S2215-0366(20)30078-X [pii];10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30078-X [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32085839

Cuifh, S. (2020). The psychological stress and illness anxiety in Chinese general population during epidemic of corona-virus disease (COVID-19). [In Press].

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Nervenheilkunde (DGPPN). (2019 Jul). Zahlen und Fakten der Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie. Available from: URL: Accessed 2019 Jul.

Duan, L., & Zhu, G. (2020). Psychological interventions for people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Lancet.Psychiatry, 7(4), 300-302. doi:S2215-0366(20)30073-0 [pii];10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30073-0 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32085840

Fardin, M. A. (2020). COVID-19 and anxiety: A review of psychological impacts of infectious disease outbreaks. Arch Clin Infect Dis., 15(COVID-19), e102779.

Kang, L., Li, Y., Hu, S., Chen, M., Yang, C., Yang, B. X. et al. (2020). The mental health of medical workers in Wuhan, China dealing with the 2019 novel coronavirus. Lancet.Psychiatry, 7(3), e14. doi:S2215-0366(20)30047-X [pii];10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30047-X [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32035030

Lai, J., Ma, S., Wang, Y., Cai, Z., Hu, J., Wei, N. et al. (2020). Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus Disease 2019. JAMA.Netw.Open, 3(3), e203976. doi:2763229 [pii];10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3976 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32202646

Liang, Y., Chen, M., Zheng, X., & Liu, J. (2020). Screening for Chinese medical staff mental health by SDS and SAS during the outbreak of COVID-19. J.Psychosom.Res., 133, 110102. doi:S0022-3999(20)30208-7 [pii];10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110102 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32224344

Liu, S., Yang, L., Zhang, C., Xiang, Y. T., Liu, Z., Hu, S. et al. (2020). Online mental health services in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lancet.Psychiatry, 7(4), e17-e18. doi:S2215-0366(20)30077-8 [pii];10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30077-8 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32085841

Rudlin, K. (2020 Apr 15). Junge Menschen kommen weniger gut mit dem Lockdown klar. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Apr 15.

Sollmann, U. (1999). Management by Körper. Hamburg, Germany: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag.

Sollmann, U. (2018). Begegnungen im Reich der Mitte: Mit psychologischem Blick unterwegs in China. Giessen, Germany: Psychosozial-Verlag.

Sollmann, U. (2020 Mar 15). A Deadly Cocktail: Coronavirus created havoc, then panic and social media amplified it. Available from: URL: Accessed 2020 Mar 15.

Wang, Y., Zhao, X., Feng, Q., Liu, L., Yao, Y., & Shi, J. (2020). Psychological assistance during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in China. J.Health Psychol., 25(6), 733-737. doi:10.1177/1359105320919177 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32301628

Wen, J., Aston, J., Liu, X., & Ying, T. (2020). Effects of misleading media coverage on public health crisis: a case of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China. Anatolia, 31(2), 331-336.

Xiang, Y. T., Yang, Y., Li, W., Zhang, L., Zhang, Q., Cheung, T. et al. (2020). Timely mental health care for the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak is urgently needed. Lancet.Psychiatry, 7(3), 228-229. doi:S2215-0366(20)30046-8 [pii];10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30046-8 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32032543

Yu, L. (2020). Handbook of COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang University School of Medicine.

Zhang, Y., & Ma, Z. F. (2020). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and quality of life among local residents in Liaoning Province, China: A cross-sectional study. Int.J.Environ.Res.Public Health, 17(7). doi:ijerph17072381 [pii];10.3390/ijerph17072381 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:32244498



How to Cite

Sollmann, U., & Feihuan, C. (2021). Exposed to Extreme Psychological Stress during the Corona Crisis; Qualitative Metasynthesis of Chinese Research on the Psychological Burden of Medical Treatment Personnel. International Journal of Body, Mind and Culture, 8(2).



Empirical Study