Psychosocial effects of SARS on hospital staff: survey of a large tertiary care institution

Nickell, Leslie A.; Crighton, Eric J.; Tracy, C. Shawn; Al-Enazy, Hadi; Bolaji, Yemisi; Hanjrah, Sagina; Hussain, Ayesha; Makhlouf, Samia; Upshur, Ross E. G.
March 2004
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;3/2/2004, Vol. 170 Issue 5, p793
Academic Journal
Background: The outbreak of SARS in 2003 had a dramatic effect on the health care system in Toronto. The main objective of this study was to investigate the psychosocial effects associated with working in a hospital environment during this outbreak. Methods: Questionnaires were distributed to all willing employees of Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre between Apr. 10 and 22, 2003. The survey included questions regarding concern about SARS, precautionary measures, personal well-being and sociodemographic characteristics; a subsample also received the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Results: Of the 4283 questionnaires distributed, 2001 (47%) were returned, representing 27% of the total hospital employee population of 7474. The proportions of respondents who were allied health care professionals, nurses and doctors and who worked in areas other than patient care were representative of the hospital staff population as a whole. Of the 2001 questionnaires, 510 contained the GHQ-12. Two-thirds of the respondents reported SARS-related concern for their own or their family's health. A total...


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