Alerts from the mental status changes of spine patients during COVID-19
outbreaks in a Grade-A Tertiary Hospital in Anhui province, China
The COVID-19 pandemic may cause psychological distress, changes in numbers and distributions of patients in spine surgery patients, which all affect the strategies of spine surgery treatment. These changes may be related to the number of new COVID-19 cases per day since they are visual indicators of the changes in the epidemic and are of interest to the public. This descriptive research took the spine surgery department as an example in a Grade-A tertiary hospital in Anhui province, China. The number and distribution of patients from January 24 to April 2, 2020 was collected and compared with the past 5 years. A psychological scale was constructed to assess the psychological distress of patients and the number of new COVID-19 cases per day in Anhui, China was collected each day from January 24 to April 2, 2020. Also, this research compared these variables with the emergency response or the number of new COVID-19 cases per day. All distributions dropped dramatically during first-level emergency response and then back to normal. The psychological distress of patients was relatively higher at the beginning of the outbreak and then gradually returned to normal. The trends between the psychological distress of patients and the number of new COVID-19 cases per day were similar. The number of new COVID-19 cases per day could be used to predict psychological distress, changes in patient numbers and distributions, which was beneficial for the department of spine surgery to adjust its treatment strategy during the epidemic.