Predictive factors of psychological disorder development during recovery following SARS outbreak

Health Psychol. 2009 Jan;28(1):91-100. doi: 10.1037/a0013674.


Objective: To investigate strategies for broad mass isolation during outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Design: A survey using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted on 300 printing company workers in Beijing, China, which was under mass isolation following the 2003 SARS outbreak, in the 7-8 months after the isolation was lifted.

Main outcome measures: Individuals with psychological disorders were classified on the basis of scores on the 30-item General Health Questionnaire during the recovery period. Psychological disorders were observed in 49 of 187 respondents (26.2%; 95% CI = 20.2, 32.7).

Results: The predicting factor with the highest correlation was income reduction, with an odds ratio of 25.0. Other items obtained were gender, range of activities, eating restrictions, restrictions in going out, disinfection of clothing, and infection control, with odds ratios of 3.2, 5.5, 3.9, 3.2, 0.2, and 0.1, respectively, and the contribution ratio was 87.7%.

Conclusion: Securing income is suggested to be important in future strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Patient Isolation / psychology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / economics
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult