Psychological Contents of Anxiety and the Prevention in an Infodemic Situation: Protection against Coronavirus or the “Vicious Circle” of Anxiety?

1659

Abstract

The paper studies the relationship of the anxiety of different types in the situation of the pandemic with the search for information about coronavirus and with protective actions. This research included 409 respondents uninfected by coronavirus aged 18 to 64 years old within a period of three weeks to one month from the start of self-isolation. The participants have appraised the severity of their anxiety caused by various reasons associated with the pandemic, the frequency of monitoring the information and communications about coronavirus, and the frequency of different protective actions against coronavirus. As a result, two aspects have been identified in the structure of the anxiety about coronavirus: the fear of the infection and anxiety about negative consequences. The fear of the consequences of the pandemic is characteristic of every third person, and it does not depend on sex and age. In one out of 11—12 persons, it is the experience that interferes with usual activities. A pronounced fear of infection was found in one person out of 5—10 respondents; it is more characteristic of women and older people. In addition to the infection prevention strategies, 10.8% of the variance of the infection anxiety and 10.6% variance of the anxiety about the negative effects of the pandemic predicts information monitoring, communications about the pandemic and usage of optional but common protection strategies and ambiguous strategies. The obtained results are consistent with our supposition that deliberate control of the information stream and unverified strategies of the protective behavior may contribute to reducing the anxiety in the situation of the pandemic while preserving the protective actions that have been found to be effective.

General Information

Keywords: pandemic, coronavirus, anxiety, protective behavior, infodemia

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2020280204

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-013-00799.

For citation: Tkhostov A.S., Rasskazova E.I. Psychological Contents of Anxiety and the Prevention in an Infodemic Situation: Protection against Coronavirus or the “Vicious Circle” of Anxiety?. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2020. Vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 70–89. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2020280204. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

  1. Enikolopov S.N., Kaz’mina O.Yu. Dinamika psikhologicheskikh reaktsii na nachal’nom etape pandemii COVID-19 [Dynamics of psychopathological reaction at the first stage of COVID-19 pandemics] [Elektronnyi resurs] // Psikhologicheskaya gazeta [Psychological Newspaper]. 2020. Available at: https://www.psy.su/feed/8182/ (Accessed 7.05.2020).
  2. Rasskazova E.I., Tkhostov A.Sh. Klinicheskaya psikhologiya sna i ego narushenii [Clinical psychology of sleep and its disturbances]. Moscow: Smysl, 2012. 320 p.
  3. Tkhostov A.Sh. Psikhologiya telesnosti [Psychology of the bodily]. Moscow: Smysl, 2002. 287 p.
  4. Kharlamenkova N.E., Bykhovets Yu.V., Dan M.V., et al. Perezhivanie neopredelennosti, trevogi, bespokoistva v usloviyakh COVID-19 [Experiences of uncertainty, anxiety and unrest during COVID-19] [Elektronnyi resurs]. IP RAS, 2020. Available at: http://ipras.ru/cntnt/rus/institut_p/covid-19/kommentarii-eksp/har-1.html?fbclid=IwAR2oJC9T6N8XvicF7wz4neKQ8r8Yc3POe8bqmOzG NFaBJqWO77L6FBUNnok (Accessed 7.05.2020).
  5. Kholmogorova A.B. Teoreticheskie i empiricheskie osnovaniya integrativnoi psikhoterapii rasstroistva affektivnogo spektra: diss. dokt. psikhol. nauk. [Theoretic and empiric grounds for integrative psychotherapy of affective spectrum disorders. Dr. Sci. (Psychology) Thesis]. Moscow: MGU, 2006. 465 p.
  6. Beck A., Emery G., Greenberg R. Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective. New York: Basic Books, 2005. 388 p.
  7. Huang Y., Zhao N. Generalized anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms and sleep quality during COVID-19 outbreak in China: a web-based cross-sectional survey [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychiatry Research, 2020. Vol. 288. Available at: https://www. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178120306077 (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112954
  8. Kennedy P. Rehabilitation psychology: Introduction, review, and background. In Kennedy P. (ed.). Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 3—9.
  9. Lee S.A. Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: A brief mental health screener for COVID-19 related anxiety. Death Studies, 2020. Vol. 44 (7), pp. 393—401. doi:10.1080/074811 87.2020.1748481
  10. Leventhal H., Brissette I., Leventhal E. The common-sense model of self-regulation of health and illness. In Cameron L.D., Leventhal H. (eds.). The Self-Regulation of Health and Illness Behavior. New York: Routledge, 2003, pp. 42—65.
  11. Moghanibashi-Mansourieh A. Assessing the anxiety level of Iranian general population during COVID-19 outbreak [Elektronnyi resurs]. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 2020. Vol. 51. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/S1876201820301878 (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j. ajp.2020.102076
  12. Rajkumar R.Ph. COVID-19 and mental health: A review of the existing literature [Elektronnyi resurs]. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 2020. Vol. 52. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876201820301775 (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102066
  13. Roy D., Tripathy S., Kar S.K., et al. Study of knowledge, attitude, anxiety & perceived mental healthcare need in Indian population during COVID-19 pandemic [Elektronnyi resurs]. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 2020. Vol. 51. Available at: https:// www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876201820301945 (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102083
  14. Sahoo S., Rani S., Parveen S., et al. Self-harm and COVID-19 Pandemic: An emerging concern — A report of 2 cases from India [Elektronnyi resurs]. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 2020. Vol. 51. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/S187620182030215X (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j. ajp.2020.102104
  15. Wang C., Pan R., Wan X., et al. Longitudinal Study on the Mental Health of General Population during the COVID-19 Epidemic in China [Elektronnyi resurs]. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2020. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC7153528/ (Accessed 7.05.2020). doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.028

Information About the Authors

Aleksandr S. Tkhostov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor, Head of Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9676-4096, e-mail: tkhostov@gmail.com

Elena I. Rasskazova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Neuro- and Patopsychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Senior Researcher,Mental Health Research Center, Senior Researcher, International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9648-5238, e-mail: e.i.rasskazova@gmail.com

Metrics

Views

Total: 2255
Previous month: 33
Current month: 9

Downloads

Total: 1659
Previous month: 2
Current month: 1