Mood Emot 2023 Nov; 21(3): 61-70
Affective State and Corresponding Psychophysiological Findings of Healthcare Workers in Coronavirus Disease of 2019 Screening Centers
Soo-Jong Choi , MD, Bo-Hyun Yoon , MD, PhD, Hyunju Yun , MD, Kyungmin Kim , MD, Yuran Jeong , MD, Hangoeunbi Kang , MD, Jye-Heon Song , MD, Young-Hwa Sea , MD, Suhee Park , MD
Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, Naju, Korea
Correspondence to: Bo-Hyun Yoon, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, 1328-31 Senam-ro, Sanpo-myeon, Naju 58213, Korea
TEL +82-61-330-4101 FAX +82-61-330-5150 E-mail ORCID
Hyunju Yun, MD
Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, 1328-31 Senam-ro, Sanpo-myeon, Naju 58213, Korea
TEL +82-61-330-4191 FAX +82-61-330-4193 E-mail ORCID
Received: November 2, 2023; Accepted: November 3, 2023; Published online: November 30, 2023.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: This study explores the impact of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers in COVID-19 Screening Centers, focusing on anxiety and depression and their psychophysiological findings.
Methods: The research involved 610 healthcare workers in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do, South Korea, from March to November 2022. Self-reported questionnaires and psychophysiological measurements using Neuronicle FX2 (Omnifitmindcare®) were employed.
Results: Among 610 participants (107 males, 503 females), the high-risk anxiety group (60 individuals, 15 males and 45 females) and high-risk depression group (79 individuals, 19 males and 60 females) showed elevated physical symptoms compared to the normal group. The high-risk anxiety group exhibited lower mean r-r intervals, higher heart rate per minute, greater stress index, and lower vigor index. For electroencephalogram (EEG) measures, the high-risk anxiety group showed higher brain activity, lower alpha asymmetry, reduced total theta power, and higher beta/theta (left, right, total) ratios. The high-risk depression group showed significantly lower alpha asymmetry in EEG.
Conclusion: This study explored anxiety and depression prevalence among healthcare workers in the Gwangju-Jeonnam region at COVID-19 testing centers. Correlations between mental states and physical symptoms were observed, emphasizing the potential of EEG and heart rate variability as physiological indicators in psychiatric evaluations during the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Health personnel; Depression; Anxiety; Brain waves; Photoplethysmography

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