Background: Given the serious impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health of Chinese adolescents, this study aimed to examine the proportion of anxiety and its correlates among Chinese adolescents with depression during the pandemic .
Methods: This cross-sectional online survey was conducted from February 20th to February 27 , 2020 in China . Symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed by the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), respectively .
Results: In this study, 3,498 adolescents with depression were identified . Of them, the proportion of anxiety was 45.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] =43.5% -46.8 %). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that being concerned about graduation (OR=1.25, P=0.002 , 95% CI=1.09-1.43), sleep duration <6hr/day (OR=1.80, P <0.001 , 95% CI=1.38-2.34), study duration> 8hr/day (OR=1.21, P=0.02 , 95% CI=1.03-1.42), and quantity of homework higher than before (OR=1.68, P <0.001 , 95% CI=1.40-2.02) were positively associated with anxiety; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at a provincial level of 100-999 (OR=0.70, P <0.001 , 95% CI=0.59-0.83) and 1,000-9,999 (OR=0.69, P=0.001 , 95% CI=0.55-0.87) were negatively related to anxiety in adolescents with depression . Limitations: Because this was a cross-sectional online study, the causality between variables and anxiety could not be examined among depressed adolescents . The use of self-reported scales may lead to an underestimation of the proportion of anxiety among adolescents with depression .
Conclusions: The symptoms of anxiety were common in adolescents with depression during the COVID-19 outbreak . Timing screening and targeted interventions are necessary to mitigate the risks of mental illness of adolescents.