Population-based post-crisis psychological distress

An example from the SARS outbreak in Taiwan

Eugene Yu Chang Peng, Ming Been Lee, Shang Ta Tsai, Chih Chien Yang, Donald Edward Morisky, Liang Ting Tsai, Ya Ling Weng, Shu Yu Lyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/Purpose: As a result of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic, the World Health Organization placed Taiwan on the travel alert list from May 21 to July 5, 2003. The aim of this study was to explore the post-crisis psychological distress among residents in Taiwan after the SARS epidemic. Methods: The target population consisted of a nationwide representative sample of residents aged ≥ 18 years. Data were collected using computer assisted telephone interview systems by stratified random sampling according to geographic area. The survey (n = 1278) was conducted in November 2003, about 4 months after resolution of the SARS crisis in Taiwan. The maximum deviation of sampling error at the 95% confidence level was ± 2.74%. Psychological distress was measured by a question related to subject's changes in perception of life, plus the five-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the correlation of psychological distress. Results: About 9.2% of the participants reported that their perceptions of life became more pessimistic following the SARS crisis. The prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was 11.7%. Major predictors of higher levels of pessimism after the SARS epidemic included demographic factors, perception of SARS and preparedness, knowing people or having personal experiences of SARS-related discrimination, and individual worries and psychiatric morbidity. The correlates of symptomatic cases, as indicated by the five-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale, included age ≥ 50 years, senior high school graduate, and worries about recurrence of SARS. Conclusion: Psychological distress was significantly correlated with demographic factors and perception regarding the SARS epidemic. It is suggested that marketing of mental health education should be segmented according to age and education level, which should enhance crisis communication for newly emerging infectious diseases among community populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-532
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Volume109
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Taiwan
Disease Outbreaks
Psychology
Population
Psychiatry
Demography
Emerging Communicable Diseases
Morbidity
Selection Bias
Health Services Needs and Demand
Pandemics
Marketing
Health Education
Mental Health
Logistic Models
Communication
Interviews
Education
Recurrence

Keywords

  • Post-crisis
  • Psychiatric morbidity
  • Psychological distress
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Population-based post-crisis psychological distress : An example from the SARS outbreak in Taiwan. / Peng, Eugene Yu Chang; Lee, Ming Been; Tsai, Shang Ta; Yang, Chih Chien; Morisky, Donald Edward; Tsai, Liang Ting; Weng, Ya Ling; Lyu, Shu Yu.

In: Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi, Vol. 109, No. 7, 07.2010, p. 524-532.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peng, Eugene Yu Chang ; Lee, Ming Been ; Tsai, Shang Ta ; Yang, Chih Chien ; Morisky, Donald Edward ; Tsai, Liang Ting ; Weng, Ya Ling ; Lyu, Shu Yu. / Population-based post-crisis psychological distress : An example from the SARS outbreak in Taiwan. In: Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi. 2010 ; Vol. 109, No. 7. pp. 524-532.
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