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Table 3 The representative statements from the intake forms for the 21 subthemes

From: The qualitative analysis of characteristic of callers to a psychological hotline at the early stage of COVID-19 in China

Subthemes Representative statements
1. Ask questions about the epidemic itself 1. “When will the epidemic end?”
2. Ask how to protect themselves from being infected 2. “How to wear the mask correctly, and is it safe to buy food in the supermarket?”
3. Ask whether their symptoms stood for infection 3. “I have a sore throat and headache, and does it mean I am infected with COVID-19?”
4. Ask whether they had developed mental disorders 4. “I feel out of control, and I am confused by my involuntary worries. Have I suffered from depression?”
5. Ask information about hospitals and medical care 5. “Is your hospital still open for business? I want to prescribe some medicine.”
6. Ask the new policy under the epidemic 6. “Is the highway still open during the epidemic?”
7. How to educate their kids 7. “My kids are not obedient at all. How to teach them to become well-behaved?”
8. The epidemic has made them upset 8. “I feel so upset because of the epidemic, and I can’t control myself worrying about it.”
9. Uncomfortable when knowing the latest information of COVID-19 9. “Every time I seeing the death toll caused by the epidemic, I feel so sad.”
10. Worried about their life condition including work, study 10. “I have to stop my work because of the epidemic, and no work means no salary. How could I survive?”
11. Worried about their family members’ health 11. “My son is living in Hubei now, and I am so worried about his health. If he is infected, what should I do?”
12. Scared of being isolated 12. “If I get infected, I have to be quarantined. That is too scary.”
13. Angry about someone without protective measures 13. “Why someone on the street does not wear masks? It’s immoral behaviour. I am so angry seeing this.”
14. Worried about the recurrence of their psychiatric disease 14. “I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder before, and I feel nervous recently. Has my disease recurred?”
15. Angry about the shortage of protective material 15. “The shortage of masks and gloves made me very angry. Without these materials, how could I protect myself?”
16. Problems of interpersonal relationship, including friends, lovers, family members, colleagues 16. “My girlfriend and I are on the rocks. What should I do to recover our relationship?”
17. Missing of their dead loved ones 17. “My father passed away two weeks ago. I miss him so much, but there is nothing I could do.”
18. Life routines were disrupted 18. “I do not need to get up early because of the epidemic. I sleep upside down.”
19. Changed emotion made them hard to sleep 19. “The anxiety about the epidemic made it difficult for me to sleep.”
20. Specific events made them hard to sleep 20. “I could not go abroad to talk about the contract. When thinking about this issue, it’s hard for me to fall asleep.”
21. Relapse of pre-existing mental illness 21. “My depression has recurred, and I could not fall asleep again.”