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[학술저널]

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신지윤 박혜윤 김정란 이정재 이해우 이소희 신형식

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Objectives Patients with an infectious diseases during an outbreak can experience extreme fear and traumatic events in addition to suffering from their medical illness. This study examined the long-term impact of the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Korea, 2015 on the mental health of the survivors. Methods Sixty-three survivors from MERS were recruited from a prospective cohort study at six hospitals one year after the outbreak in 2015. The Korean-Symptom Check List 95 was administered to evaluate their psychiatric problems and analyzed according to the patient’s characteristics and exposure to traumatic events during the outbreak. Results A total of 63.5% of survivors suffered from significant psychiatric problems: post-traumatic symptoms (36.5%), sleep problems (36.5%), anxiety (34.9%), and depression (30.2%). Survivors with a history of a ventilator treatment during the MERS epidemic, a family member who died from MERS, and a past psychiatric history showed higher post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and suicidality than people who do not have those histories. Conclusion The study suggests that MERS survivors could have a high chance of adverse psychiatric consequences, even after their recovery from MERS. Exposure to traumatic events during the outbreak and premorbid individual vulnerability would affect the long-term mental health problems.

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