Health Anxiety in the Early Phase of COVID-19 Outbreak in Turkey: Investigation of Predictive Variables

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Abstract
Objective: Health anxiety can be a risk factor for mental health and well-being. People can experience higher levels of health anxiety during pandemic outbreaks because such pandemic outbreaks can cause additional stress and threats. In this sense, people can be more vulnerable to health anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. To better understand and overcome health anxiety, it is important to examine factors that affect health anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. This study aimed to examine the effects of age, gender, perceived risk, exposure to media, depression, anxiety, and stress on health anxiety during the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey.

Materials and Method: The participants included 1473 adults and the data were collected via an online tool. The demographic questions, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and the Short Health Anxiety Scale were used to collect data. Multiple linear regression analysis was implemented to analyze the data using R program.

Results: The results showed that anxiety was the strongest positive predictor of health anxiety, following stress, TV News and social media, depression, and risk perception. Age and gender were not found to be significant predictors.

Conclusions: This study showed that the significant predictors of health anxiety can escalate health anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. The results and limitations are discussed along with implications for future research and intervention and prevention planning.
Keywords
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
27
Issue
2-3
Number of Pages
74-80
Date Published
10/2021
Type of Article
Journal article
ISSN Number
1134-7937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
DOI
10.5093/anyes2021a10