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Coping responses of emergency physicians and nurses to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak.
Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Apr; 12(4):322-8.AE

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

During the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, health care workers (HCWs) experienced unusual stressors. The study hospital introduced psychosocial interventions to help HCWs. This study aimed to examine the coping strategies adopted by the emergency department (ED) HCWs who cared for the SARS patients.

METHODS

In November 2003, a self-administered questionnaire of physicians and nurses was conducted in the hospital ED that is the national SARS screening center in Singapore. Data collected included demographics and responses to these instruments: 1) the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) to assess coping strategies, 2) the Impact of Event Scale (IES) to measure psychological reactions, and 3) the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ 28) to measure psychiatric morbidity.

RESULTS

Thirty-eight of 41 (92.7%) physicians and 58 of 83 (69.9%) nurses responded. The respondents reported a preference for problem-focused and emotion-focused coping measures. The physicians chose humor as a coping response significantly more frequently (p < 0.001) than nurses, scoring 9.61/16 (95% CI = 8.52 to 10.69), compared with the nurses' score of 7.05/16 (95% CI = 6.28 to 7.83). The Filipino HCWs turned to religion as a coping response significantly more frequently (p < 0.001) than the non-Filipino HCWs, scoring 14.38/16 (95% CI = 13.33 to 15.42), compared with 9.93/16 (95% CI = 9.00 to 10.87) for the non-Filipinos. Psychiatric morbidity was 17.7% on the IES and 18.8% on the GHQ 28, with the trend for physicians to report lower psychiatric morbidity.

CONCLUSIONS

With a supportive hospital environment, ED HCWs chose adaptive coping in response to the outbreak and reported low psychiatric morbidity. Physicians chose humor and Filipinos chose turning to religion as their preferred responses. Psychosocial interventions to help HCWs need to take these preferences into account.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Emergency Department, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433. phuadh@yahoo.comNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15805323

Citation

Phua, D H., et al. "Coping Responses of Emergency Physicians and Nurses to the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak." Academic Emergency Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, vol. 12, no. 4, 2005, pp. 322-8.
Phua DH, Tang HK, Tham KY. Coping responses of emergency physicians and nurses to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. Acad Emerg Med. 2005;12(4):322-8.
Phua, D. H., Tang, H. K., & Tham, K. Y. (2005). Coping responses of emergency physicians and nurses to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. Academic Emergency Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 12(4), 322-8.
Phua DH, Tang HK, Tham KY. Coping Responses of Emergency Physicians and Nurses to the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak. Acad Emerg Med. 2005;12(4):322-8. PubMed PMID: 15805323.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Coping responses of emergency physicians and nurses to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. AU - Phua,D H, AU - Tang,H K, AU - Tham,K Y, PY - 2005/4/5/pubmed PY - 2005/5/13/medline PY - 2005/4/5/entrez SP - 322 EP - 8 JF - Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine JO - Acad Emerg Med VL - 12 IS - 4 N2 - OBJECTIVES: During the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, health care workers (HCWs) experienced unusual stressors. The study hospital introduced psychosocial interventions to help HCWs. This study aimed to examine the coping strategies adopted by the emergency department (ED) HCWs who cared for the SARS patients. METHODS: In November 2003, a self-administered questionnaire of physicians and nurses was conducted in the hospital ED that is the national SARS screening center in Singapore. Data collected included demographics and responses to these instruments: 1) the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) to assess coping strategies, 2) the Impact of Event Scale (IES) to measure psychological reactions, and 3) the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ 28) to measure psychiatric morbidity. RESULTS: Thirty-eight of 41 (92.7%) physicians and 58 of 83 (69.9%) nurses responded. The respondents reported a preference for problem-focused and emotion-focused coping measures. The physicians chose humor as a coping response significantly more frequently (p < 0.001) than nurses, scoring 9.61/16 (95% CI = 8.52 to 10.69), compared with the nurses' score of 7.05/16 (95% CI = 6.28 to 7.83). The Filipino HCWs turned to religion as a coping response significantly more frequently (p < 0.001) than the non-Filipino HCWs, scoring 14.38/16 (95% CI = 13.33 to 15.42), compared with 9.93/16 (95% CI = 9.00 to 10.87) for the non-Filipinos. Psychiatric morbidity was 17.7% on the IES and 18.8% on the GHQ 28, with the trend for physicians to report lower psychiatric morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: With a supportive hospital environment, ED HCWs chose adaptive coping in response to the outbreak and reported low psychiatric morbidity. Physicians chose humor and Filipinos chose turning to religion as their preferred responses. Psychosocial interventions to help HCWs need to take these preferences into account. SN - 1553-2712 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15805323/Coping_responses_of_emergency_physicians_and_nurses_to_the_2003_severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome_outbreak_ L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&amp;sid=nlm:pubmed&amp;issn=1069-6563&amp;date=2005&amp;volume=12&amp;issue=4&amp;spage=322 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -