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Am J Public Health. 2004 Apr;94(4):562-4.

The impact of the SARS epidemic on the utilization of medical services: SARS and the fear of SARS.

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  • 1Bureau of National Health Insurance, Taipei, Taiwan.


Using interrupted time-series analysis and National Health Insurance data between January 2000 and August 2003, this study assessed the impacts of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic on medical service utilization in Taiwan. At the peak of the SARS epidemic, significant reductions in ambulatory care (23.9%), inpatient care (35.2%), and dental care (16.7%) were observed. People's fears of SARS appear to have had strong impacts on access to care. Adverse health outcomes resulting from accessibility barriers posed by the fear of SARS should not be overlooked.

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