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Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2075-3470

ISSN (online): 2311-9446

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

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1992

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

 

Psychological Contents of Anxiety and the Prevention in an Infodemic Situation: Protection against Coronavirus or the “Vicious Circle” of Anxiety? 400

Tkhostov A.Sh.
Doctor of Psychology, 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

Rasskazova E.I.
PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Neuro- and Pathopsychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9648-5238
e-mail: e.i.rasskazova@gmail.com

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.

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

Column: Challenges for Health and Education during the Pandemic

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

For Reference

Funding

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

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