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Correspondence: V K G Lim, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aim This study examined the level of knowledge of SARS transmission among Singaporeans and their willingness to disclose their health condition to others. We also examined respondents' perceived effects of SARS on work and organisations and their attitudes toward issues of privacy and disclosure of medical information.
Methods Respondents comprised MBAs (Master of Business Administration students) and human resource managers who attended classes in a local tertiary institution. Data were collected via an email survey. A total of 101 completed surveys were received and included in data analyses.
Results Results suggest that despite rather intensive efforts to generate awareness about SARS transmission, a certain level of uncertainty about how SARS can be transmitted still prevails. This is not surprising, given that SARS is a relatively new medical problem. Our findings also suggest that while respondents unanimously agreed that they would inform their parents, spouse, siblings and employers if they were tested positive for SARS, they were more ambivalent about disclosing such information to their neighbours and colleagues. Findings also suggest that having a SARS or probable SARS case in the company would disrupt the flow of work and affect employees' morale.
Conclusion Results of this study have significant implications for efforts to educate Singaporeans about the disease and the management of SARS at the workplace.
Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Singapore, work, organisations, knowledge of transmission
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(9): 457-463