Lessons learned from the anti-SARS quarantine experience in a hospital-based fever screening station in Taiwan

Esther Ching Lan Lin, Yih Chi Peng, Jeffrey Che Hung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first major novel infectious disease to hit the international community in the 21st century. While SARS was sweeping over almost 30 countries, most hospitals in Taiwan instituted mandatory quarantine measures, one of the most effective public health strategies for preventing disease transmission. We explored the anti-SARS quarantine experience of patients in a hospital-based fever screening station. Methods: We conducted a phenomenologic, qualitative study using semistructured telephone interviews during the SARS outbreak in Taiwan. Seventeen patients with fever who were quarantined in the fever screening station of a hospital emergency department for at least 2 hours were recruited into this study. Results: Data analysis using Collaizi's 9 steps revealed 2 categories-external burden and internal struggle-and 6 themes regarding patients' quarantine experience. External burden included 3 themes: (1) bearing the uncomfortable surroundings, (2) facing discrimination, and (3) lacking in-person family support. Internal struggle consisted of 3 themes: (1) struggle with being quarantined, (2) struggle with emotional turmoil, and (3) struggle with possible SARS diagnosis. Conclusion: These results will contribute to sensitizing health care professionals to empathize with quarantined persons while providing quality quarantine care and other infection control measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-307
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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