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Impact of a Spreading Epidemic on Medical Students

By Li-Cher Loh, Anita Mohd Ali, Ter-Hoay Ang and Ambiga Chelliah

Abstract

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) had caused fear and anxiety of unprecedented proportion. To examine the impact of SARS on the medical students in a private medical university, a self-reporting questionnaire study was carried out to assess the factual knowledge, anxiety level and perception of the crisis, among the students. The two-week study (between 12 and 23 May, 2003) was carried out three weeks after the first reported SARS-related death in Malaysia. Ninety-one Phase I (junior) and 113 Phase II (senior) students completed the questionnaires. A large majority of students of Phase I and II were correct in their factual knowledge and were sensible in their perception of the future and the handling of the crisis by government(s). However, phase 1 students expressed significantly greater degree of anxiety compared to Phase II in relation to attendance and personal protection in hospital, and in meeting people coughing in public places. The lesser degree of anxiety expressed by phase II senior students may be due in part, to a more realistic assessment of SARS risk brought about by maturity, time spent in hospital and interaction with clinical lecturers and medical staff

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3349482
Provided by: PubMed Central
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