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European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; 11(1):1769379-1769379, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-640022
J Anxiety Disord ; 74: 102248, 2020 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401637


The COVID-19 outbreak in China led to an extraordinary threat to public health and wellbeing. This study examined the psychological impact of media use among people indirectly exposed to the disease during the initial phase of the outbreak. We conducted an internet-based survey on January 28, 2020 (one week after the official declaration of person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus). Media use (media forms, content of media exposure, and media engagement) related to the outbreak and psychological outcomes (positive and negative affect, anxiety, depression, and stress) of 917 Chinese adults was assessed. A series of multivariable regressions were conducted. The results showed that use of new media, rather than traditional media, was significantly associated with more negative affect, depression, anxiety, and stress. Viewing stressful content (i.e., severity of the outbreak, reports from hospital) was associated with more negative affect and depression. Media engagement was also associated with more negative affect, anxiety, and stress. However, viewing heroic acts, speeches from experts, and knowledge of the disease and prevention were associated with more positive affect and less depression. The study suggested new media use and more media engagement was associated with negative psychological outcomes, while certain media content was associated with positive psychological impact. The present study highlights the need for timely public health communication from official sources and suggests that reduced exposure to new media may be beneficial.

J Affect Disord ; 274: 576-582, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381870


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is fast-spreading and potentially fatal, introducing home quarantine, social distancing, and increased internet usage globally. We investigated COVID-19 anxiety, general anxiety and depression symptoms, and their impact on problematic smartphone use (PSU) severity METHODS: Participants were 908 residents of a large Eastern Chinese city, surveyed from late-February to mid-March, 2020. We administered online measures including the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21, Smartphone Addiction Scale-Short Version, and items querying COVID-19-related news exposure and threat of death. Additionally, participants rated anxiety using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 with reference to COVID-19. RESULTS: COVID-19 anxiety correlated with severity of PSU, depression and anxiety. Using established cut-off scores, 12% of participants were identified with at least moderate depression, and 24% with moderate anxiety. Using structural equation modeling, COVID-19 anxiety related to PSU severity, mediating relations between general anxiety and PSU severity. However, controlling PSU for general anxiety and depression severity, COVID-19 anxiety no longer predicted PSU severity. LIMITATIONS: Limitations include the cross-sectional research design and reliance on data from only one country. CONCLUSIONS: Results are discussed in context of the I-PACE model of excessive internet use. While COVID-19 anxiety is likely a global anxiety-provoking event, other everyday worries and anxiety are additionally clinically important in driving excessive internet use.

Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Smartphone/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Causality , China/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Severity of Illness Index , Surveys and Questionnaires
J Anxiety Disord ; 73: 102233, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154879


The COVID-19 public health crisis has led to extensive recommendations by officials to contain its spread. Anxiety regarding contracting the virus is prominent in the public. Specific routes to anxiety over disease contraction are under studied. It is expected that a contributory feature of fear of contracting COVID-19 involve disgust propensity and sensitivity, emotional reactions that are part of a broader behavioral immune system (BIS). A total of N = 908 Chinese adults (mean age = 40.37 years, SD = 9.27; n = 752 female) participated in a survey distributed between February 24 and March 15, 2020. Participants completed measures of anxiety sensitivity, disgust propensity and sensitivity, and fear of contracting COVID-19. Results support a moderating relationship between both disgust propensity and sensitivity in the relationship between physical concerns associated with anxiety sensitivity and fear of contracting COVID-19. These results lend support for individual variation in the activation of the BIS. Recommendations for public education to target individuals who may experience mental health consequences from pandemics are provided.

Anxiety/psychology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disgust , Fear/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Asian Continental Ancestry Group/psychology , Betacoronavirus , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Sensation , Young Adult