The occupational and psychosocial impact of SARS on academic physicians in three affected hospitals

Psychosomatics. Sep-Oct 2005;46(5):385-91. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.46.5.385.


A cross-sectional anonymous survey was administered to all directory-listed physicians within a network of three large teaching hospitals that provided care to SARS patients in Toronto. One hundred ninety-three physicians participated, 23% of whom provided direct care to SARS patients. A significantly higher rate of psychological distress was seen among physicians providing direct care to SARS patients (45.7%) than among those not providing direct care (17.7%), and physicians providing direct care reported feeling more stigmatized. Several physicians (10.9%) reported entering the hospital despite experiencing identified SARS symptoms. The most frequent SARS concerns were about the care of non-SARS patients following suspension of nonessential services and loss of physician income.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospitals, Teaching*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Physician's Role*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / psychology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / transmission*
  • Social Alienation
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology