SARS disproportionately affects healthcare providers. A physician survey was administered within three hospitals providing care to SARS patients. Knowing a colleague who contracted SARS and previous occupational exposure to infectious agents were significantly predictive of greater perceived risk, whereas perceived effectiveness of precautions and provision of direct care were not.
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.