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Impact on health care workers employed in high-risk areas during the Toronto SARS outbreak.
J Psychosom Res. 2008 Feb; 64(2):177-83.JP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A number of publications focusing on health care workers (HCWs) during a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak have suggested that HCWs experienced psychological distress, particularly increased levels of posttraumatic stress symptomatology (PTSS). Factors contributing to increased distress in HCWs working in high-risk areas treating patients with SARS have not been fully elucidated. The goal of this study was to quantify the psychological effects of working in a high-risk unit during the SARS outbreak.

METHODS

HCWs in a Toronto hospital who worked in high-risk areas completed a questionnaire regarding their attitude toward the SARS crisis along with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, which screens for PTSS. The comparison group consisted of clinical units that had no contact with patients infected with SARS.

RESULTS

Factors that were identified to cause distress in the 248 respondent HCWs were the following: (a) perception of risk to themselves, (b) impact of the SARS crisis on their work life, (c) depressive affect, and (d) working in a high-risk unit. In addition, HCWs who cared for only one SARS patient in comparison to those caring for multiple SARS patients experienced more PTSS.

CONCLUSIONS

As expected, HCWs who were working in high-risk units experienced greater distress. Contrary to expectations, HCWs who experienced greater contact with SARS patients while working in the high-risk units were less distressed. This suggests that HCW experience in treating patients infected with SARS may be a mediating factor that could be amenable to intervention in future outbreaks.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. rima.styra@uhn.on.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18222131

Citation

Styra, Rima, et al. "Impact On Health Care Workers Employed in High-risk Areas During the Toronto SARS Outbreak." Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. 64, no. 2, 2008, pp. 177-83.
Styra R, Hawryluck L, Robinson S, et al. Impact on health care workers employed in high-risk areas during the Toronto SARS outbreak. J Psychosom Res. 2008;64(2):177-83.
Styra, R., Hawryluck, L., Robinson, S., Kasapinovic, S., Fones, C., & Gold, W. L. (2008). Impact on health care workers employed in high-risk areas during the Toronto SARS outbreak. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 64(2), 177-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.07.015
Styra R, et al. Impact On Health Care Workers Employed in High-risk Areas During the Toronto SARS Outbreak. J Psychosom Res. 2008;64(2):177-83. PubMed PMID: 18222131.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Impact on health care workers employed in high-risk areas during the Toronto SARS outbreak. AU - Styra,Rima, AU - Hawryluck,Laura, AU - Robinson,Susan, AU - Kasapinovic,Sonja, AU - Fones,Calvin, AU - Gold,Wayne L, PY - 2006/06/19/received PY - 2007/04/04/revised PY - 2007/07/31/accepted PY - 2008/1/29/pubmed PY - 2008/4/9/medline PY - 2008/1/29/entrez SP - 177 EP - 83 JF - Journal of psychosomatic research JO - J Psychosom Res VL - 64 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: A number of publications focusing on health care workers (HCWs) during a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak have suggested that HCWs experienced psychological distress, particularly increased levels of posttraumatic stress symptomatology (PTSS). Factors contributing to increased distress in HCWs working in high-risk areas treating patients with SARS have not been fully elucidated. The goal of this study was to quantify the psychological effects of working in a high-risk unit during the SARS outbreak. METHODS: HCWs in a Toronto hospital who worked in high-risk areas completed a questionnaire regarding their attitude toward the SARS crisis along with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, which screens for PTSS. The comparison group consisted of clinical units that had no contact with patients infected with SARS. RESULTS: Factors that were identified to cause distress in the 248 respondent HCWs were the following: (a) perception of risk to themselves, (b) impact of the SARS crisis on their work life, (c) depressive affect, and (d) working in a high-risk unit. In addition, HCWs who cared for only one SARS patient in comparison to those caring for multiple SARS patients experienced more PTSS. CONCLUSIONS: As expected, HCWs who were working in high-risk units experienced greater distress. Contrary to expectations, HCWs who experienced greater contact with SARS patients while working in the high-risk units were less distressed. This suggests that HCW experience in treating patients infected with SARS may be a mediating factor that could be amenable to intervention in future outbreaks. SN - 0022-3999 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18222131/Impact_on_health_care_workers_employed_in_high_risk_areas_during_the_Toronto_SARS_outbreak_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-3999(07)00309-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -