Anxiety Mood.  2019 Apr;15(1):45-52. 10.24986/anxmod.2019.15.1.45.

Influence of Fear about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Event of Hospital Worker and General Public on Socio-Psychological Health: Mediating Effect of Posttraumatic Stress

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Presbyterian Medical Center-Jesus Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Kim Hyeongwook Psychiatric Clinic, Jeongeup, Korea.
  • 3Healing Forest Psychiatric Clinic, Jeonju, Korea.


The objective of this study is to determine the effects of fear of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) on socio-psychological health during an outbreak of MERS and the post-traumatic stress as a mediator on the relationship between stress and socio-psychological health.
Visual Analog Scale, Impact of Event Scale -Revised, Psychosocial well-being index short form was implemented for 150 medical persons who worked at the hospital in which exposure to MERS cases had been confirmed and 96 ordinary people. A Pearson correlation coefficient and a hierarchical multiple regression was carried out to confirm the effect of fear of MERS and the mediating effect of post-traumatic stress between fear and socio-psychological health.
The higher the fear, the lower the socio-psychological health in both healthcare workers and the public (r=0.32, p<0.01) and the higher post-traumatic stress (r=0.32, p<0.01). But, the research results showed that only healthcare workers had a partially mediating effect of post-traumatic stress in the relationship between fear and socio-psychological health (β=0.45, t=6.33 p<0.001), (β value : 0.39>0.26).
This study demonstrated that the post-traumatic stress can indirectly lead to a negative effect on the socio-psychological health of healthcare workers when under the fear of MERS and shows adverse effects on psycho-social wellbeing. This suggests that clinical intervention and psycho-social approach aiming at reducing post-traumatic stress is important to maintain mental health during crisis development.


Middle east respiratory syndrome; Fear; Socio-psychological health; Post-traumatic stress
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