Survey of Stress Reactions Among Health Care Workers Involved With the SARS Outbreak

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was unique because it was highly concentrated in health care settings and a large number of health care workers were infected. This study investigated stress reactions among 338 staff members in a hospital in East Taiwan that discontinued emergency and outpatient services to prevent possible nosocomial outbreak. Seventeen staff members (5 percent) suffered from an acute stress disorder; stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis determined that quarantine was the most related factor. Sixty-six staff members (20 percent) felt stigmatized and rejected in their neighborhood because of their hospital work, and 20 of 218 health care workers (9 percent) reported reluctance to work or had considered resignation.

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