Fear of COVID-19 scale: Psychometric characteristics, reliability and validity in the Israeli population

Dana Tzur Bitan, Ariella Grossman-Giron, Yuval Bloch, Yael Mayer, Noga Shiffman, Shlomo Mendlovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

402 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mental health clinicians worldwide have been expressing concerns regarding the broad psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, only a few studies have thus far evaluated the degree of fear of COVID-19, partially due to the lack of validated measures. In this study we evaluated the psychometric properties of the Hebrew version of the Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S), recently developed to assess different aspects of the fear of the pandemic, in a normative population of participants in Israel. Participants (n = 639) were asked to complete the FCV-19S scale, as well as to report anxiety, depression, and stress levels using validated scales. The results a unidimensional factor structure of the FCV-19S which explained 53.71% of the variance. When forcing a two-factor structure model, the analysis revealed two factors pertaining to emotional fear reactions and symptomatic expressions of fear. Gender, sociodemographic status, chronic illness, being in an at-risk group, and having a family member dying of COVID-19 were positively associated with fear of COVID-19. The measure was associated with anxiety, stress and depression. These results suggest that the FCV-19S has good psychometric properties, and can be utilized in studies assessing the effects of the pandemic on the population's mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113100
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume289
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Stress

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