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Clinical characteristics of hospitalised patients with schizophrenia who were suspected to have coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hubei Province, China
  1. Xuebing Liu1,
  2. Hong Lin2,
  3. Haifeng Jiang3,
  4. Ruihua Li3,
  5. Na Zhong3,
  6. Hang Su3,
  7. Yi Li1 and
  8. Min Zhao3
  1. 1 Wuhan Mental Health Center, Wuhan, China
  2. 2 Yichang Special Care Hospital, Yichang, China
  3. 3 Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Affiliated Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Min Zhao; drminzhao{at}; Ruihua Li; liruihua37{at}


Background Since the outbreak of COVID-19, no data have been available for hospitalised psychiatric patients who are suspected to have COVID-19. We performed a comprehensive investigation of the clinical features of hospitalised patients with schizophrenia with or without suspected COVID-19 in Hubei Province, China.

Aim To explore the clinical characteristics of hospitalised patients with schizophrenia with suspected COVID-19 in Hubei Province, China.

Methods 21 hospitalised patients with schizophrenia with suspected COVID-19 (COVID-19 suspected group) in the isolation ward of a mental health hospital in Wuhan and 30 hospitalised patients with schizophrenia (clean group) in the general ward of another mental health hospital in Yichang were recruited. We retrospectively reviewed their clinical characteristics, laboratory findings and chest CT results before 21 February 2020. We also compared the emotional and mental symptoms between the two groups.

Results Medical records revealed that 21 COVID-19 suspected patients were transferred to the isolation ward between 30 January 2020 and 15 February 2020. The mean age (SD) of COVID-19 suspected patients was 43.1 (2.6). 12 (57.1%) patients showed abnormalities on chest CT before onset of respiratory symptoms. 14 (66.7%) patients had psychiatric medications adjustment after detection of abnormal chest CT findings. By 21 February, one patient was confirmed to have COVID-19. Even though the remaining 20 (95.2%) were negative for at least two reverse transcription PCR tests, 11 (52.4%) patients met the diagnostic criteria for clinically confirmed cases. Compared with patients in the clean group, patients in the suspected COVID-19 group showed significantly higher stress, depression and anxiety levels and poorer sleep quality.

Conclusion Setting up an independent isolation ward for hospitalised psychiatric patients who are suspected to have symptoms of COVID-19 helped control the spread of the epidemic. Patients with schizophrenia suspected to have COVID-19 showed increased stress and mood and sleep disturbances, which should be appropriately managed.

  • cross-sectional studies
  • schizophrenia
  • epidemiological monitoring

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  • XL and HL are joint first authors.

  • XL and HL contributed equally.

  • Contributors XL, HL and RL collected the clinical data. RL, HS and NZ processed the statistical data. RL drafted the manuscript. HJ and YL revised the final manuscript. MZ is responsible for summarising all data and revised the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Program of Shanghai Academic Research Leader (17XD1403300) and the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders (13DZ2260500).

  • Disclaimer The funders have no role in study design, data collection and analysis, and decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Shanghai Mental Health Center (no 2019-18) and was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Written informed consent was obtained from patients involved or their guardians.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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