A Systematic, Thematic Review of Social and Occupational Factors Associated With Psychological Outcomes in Healthcare Employees During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

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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.


Four literature databases were searched and data extracted from relevant papers.


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.


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.

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