The outbreak of post-traumatic stress disturbances during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review

Document Type : Reviewers


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Mazandaran, Iran

2 Nursing and Midwifery School, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran.

3 Nursing and Midwifery School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran

4 Medical School, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran

5 Health Network of Dehgolan, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

6 Departmemt of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

7 Departmemt of Food Hygiene, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Although almost three years have passed since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), this unprecedented situation is still not under control. Since COVID-19 has the potential to harm the human body, this systematic review aimed to evaluate the outbreak of post-traumatic stress disturbance (PTSD) during the COVID-19 epidemic. We used the search strategy of “novel coronavirus” OR “2019 novel coronavirus” OR “novel coronavirus pneumonia” OR “new coronavirus” OR “coronavirus disease 2019” OR “SARS2” OR “2019-n CoV” OR “SARS-CoV-2” OR “COVID-19” AND “PTSD” OR “PTS” OR “post-traumatic stress” OR “mental disorders”. The exclusion criteria included: a) articles that were not in English or Persian language; b) articles whose full text was not available, c) articles that did not report the prevalence of PTSD, d) articles that were not specific to COVID-19 or included other diseases, e) duplicate publications; f) reviews, abstracts, case reports, case series, and g) studies with target groups other than healthcare workers (HCWs), patients with COVID-19 and general population. After reviewing the articles and checking the exclusion criteria, the full text of 27 articles was reviewed. The studies showed the prevalence of PTSD in the HCW, general population and COVID-19 patients varied from the lowest to the highest as 3.8% to 56.6%, 4.6% to 67.09% and 5.61% to 96.2%, respectively. Given the prevalence of PTSD associated to COVID-19 in the investigated groups, it is recommended to design and implement educational and interventional programs to manage stress and deal with stressful situations such as epidemics.


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