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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front. Med.    2017, Vol. 11 Issue (1) : 147-151     DOI: 10.1007/s11684-016-0481-8
Study of blood exposure-related mental health illness among clinical nurses
Xiaojia Xiong1,Min Li2,Yongliang Jiang1,Xindeng Tong1,Yanzhong Peng1()
1. Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen 518000, China
2. The Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Qingyuan People’s Hospital, Qingyuan 511518, China
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Nurses are subjected to high amount of stress in the medical setting, and work-related stress often leads to mental problems. This study aims to investigate the mental health status of nurses exposed to blood through needlestick injuries. A total of 302 nurses working in the hospital of Guangdong, China, participated in this study. Out of the 302 nurses, 140 did not experience any needlestick injuries during the previous week, whereas 162 nurses experienced needlestick injuries. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-28 Standardized Questionnaire, which uses physical, anxiety, social function, and depression subscales, was used in this study. No significant difference between nurses exposed to blood and nurses not exposed to blood was found in terms of gender, age, length of employment, and civil status (P>0.05). Results from the GHQ-28 Standardized Questionnaire showed that 75.9% (123/162) of nurses exposed to blood were suspected to suffer from mental disorders, whereas 40% (56/140) of nurses not exposed to blood were suspected to suffer from mental disorders. The mean mental health scores of nurses exposed to blood and those not exposed were 8.73±7.32 and 5.69±5.70, respectively. From these results, we can conclude that blood exposure from needlestick injuries leads to higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in nurses. This finding highlights the importance of providing efficient, adequate, and appropriate support services after nurses are exposed to blood from needlestick injuries.

Keywords blood exposure      needlestick injuries      mental health      nurses     
Corresponding Authors: Yanzhong Peng   
Just Accepted Date: 14 November 2016   Online First Date: 06 December 2016    Issue Date: 20 March 2017
URL:     OR
Variable Overall
(N = 302)
Blood exposure
(n = 162)
No blood exposure
(n = 140)
P value
Age (year) 24.75±8.8 25.1±9.3 24.3±8.1 >0.05
Female 270 (89.4%) 148 (91.4%) 122 (87.1%) >0.05
Married 242 (80.1%) 131 (80.9%) 111 (79.3%) >0.05
Work record
<5 years 115 (38.1%) 61 (37.7%) 54 (38.6%) >0.05
5 to 10 years 100 (33.1%) 55 (34%) 45 (32.1%) >0.05
>10 years 87 (28.8%) 46 (28.4%) 41 (29.3%) >0.05
Tab.1  General characteristics of study subjects
Fig.1  Percentage of each group diagnosed to be a psychiatric case or not. Nurses exposed to blood were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed as a psychiatric case compared with nurses not exposed to blood. Odds ratio, 4.73; 95% confidence interval, 2.887–7.753; P<0.05.
Group Exposed to blood Not exposed to blood P value
Mean±SD 8.73±7.32 5.69±5.70 <0.05
Min 5 5
Max 43 39
Tab.2  Mean±SD of mental health scores
Fig.2  Percentage differed significantly in variable of mental health status in nurses exposed to blood compared with nurses not exposed to blood.
Number of participants exposed to blood (Percentage) Number of participants not exposed to blood (Percentage) P value
<5 years 49 (80.3%) 20 (37%) <0.05
5 to 10 years 43 (78.2%) 18 (40%) <0.05
>10 years 31 (67.4%) 18 (43.9%) <0.05
Tab.3  Percentage of diagnosed psychiatric case based on work record in nurses exposed to blood and nurses not exposed to blood
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