Exploratory study on psychosocial impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak on Chinese students living in Japan

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2005;17(2):124-9. doi: 10.1177/101053950501700211.


The aim of this study is to explore the impact of the 2003 SARS outbreak on Chinese students living in Japan. A cross-sectional study was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire. The participants were recruited at multiple locations at the University of Tokyo, Japan. The results showed approximately 60% (96/161) of the respondents felt an impact of SARS on college life; they had experienced SARS-related fear, worry, depression as well as social discrimination and had taken SARS prevention measures for daily protection in Japan during the epidemic. The magnitude of the impact was associated with socio-demographic factors, including their age, specialty, area of previous residence in China and length of stay in Japan. The findings suggest that the SARS outbreak had a psychosocial impact on the Chinese students living in Japan, even though none of them had SARS. Social support tailored for these foreign students should be provided during such a disease outbreak.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / ethnology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice
  • Psychology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires