Physical, psychological and pandemic fatigue in the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong: population-based, cross-sectional study

Elsie Yan*, Haze K L Ng, Daniel W L Lai, Vincent W P Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the physical, psychological and pandemic fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore the correlates of fatigue using a representative, population-based, community sample of Chinese adults in Hong Kong.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Telephone surveys in Hong Kong from December 2020 to January 2021 (during the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreak).

Participants: 1255 adults living in Hong Kong aged 18 years or older sampled using a multistage approach (53% women).

Main outcome measures: Physical and psychological fatigue: The Fatigue Assessment Scale (with a cut-off score of 22). Pandemic fatigue: Adherence to six disease prevention measures (DPM) recommended by the government.

Results: About 25.7% of the participants were feeling fatigued physically and psychologically. Physical and psychological fatigue was not directly associated with pandemic fatigue, and their association was fully mediated by self-perceived disruptions of COVID-19-related restrictions in daily life. Results from the hierarchical regression analysis showed that higher levels of fatigue were associated with economically inactive status (B=0.18, SE=0.04, p<0.001), having family or friend infected with COVID-19 before or during the study (B=0.17, SE=0.01, p<0.001), lower acceptability of DPM (B=-0.16, SE=0.03, p<0.001), greater disruptions in daily life (B=0.22, SE=0.02, p<0.001), and greater trust in authorities in ending the pandemic (B=0.11, SE=0.02, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Fatigue affected many individuals during the pandemic. Disruptions of DPM in daily life may serve as a mediator in the association between pandemic fatigue and physical and psychological fatigue, reflecting the need of effective interventions to reduce self-perceived disruptions of COVID-19-related restrictions in the general population. Resources should be allocated to provide sufficient services to individuals vulnerable to fatigue during the prolonged pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere062609
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022

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