Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review to identify social and occupational factors affecting the psychological wellbeing of healthcare workers involved in the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) crisis.
Methods: Four literature databases were searched and data extracted from relevant papers.
Results: Eighteen thousand five papers were found and 22 included in the review. The psychological impact of SARS on employees appeared to be associated with occupational role; training/preparedness; high-risk work environments; quarantine; role-related stressors; perceived risk; social support; social rejection/isolation; and impact of SARS on personal or professional life.
Conclusions: To minimize the psychological impact of future outbreaks of infectious diseases, healthcare workers should be prepared for the potential psychological impact; employers should encourage a supportive environment in the workplace and ensure that support is in place for those most at risk, for example, those with the most patient contact.