The psychosocial effects of being quarantined following exposure to SARS: a qualitative study of Toronto health care workers

Can J Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;49(6):403-7. doi: 10.1177/070674370404900612.


Objective: To examine the psychosocial effects on health care workers of being quarantined because of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Method: We used semistructured qualitative interviews.

Results: We identified 3 major themes concerning psychosocial effects: loss, duty, and conflict.

Conclusions: Quarantined workers experienced stigma, fear, and frustration. We highlight the need for clear and easily accessible information on dealing with infectious diseases. Practical advice on coping and stress management techniques for health care workers are needed in preparation for potential future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychology
  • Quarantine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / psychology*