Psychology, Interamerican
Cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic: Its relationship with health anxiety, state anxiety and trait anxiety
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State anxiety
Trait anxiety
Health anxiety

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Ortega Germosén, G., Bello-Castillo, I., & Sánchez-Vincitore, L. (2023). Cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic: Its relationship with health anxiety, state anxiety and trait anxiety. Revista Interamericana De Psicología/Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 57(2), e1726.


Introduction: Cyberchondria is a compulsive cycle of seeking medical information that, instead of satisfying the need for information, increases anxiety. Objective: This cross-sectional study explored how health anxiety, trait anxiety, and state anxiety impact the levels of cyberchondria in young Dominicans during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the differences between people who are considered to be at risk for complications from COVID-19 and those who are not in these variables. Method: 87 participants answered an online booklet: A sociodemographic section; State-trait anxiety questionnaire (STAI); Brief Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI); Short version of the Cyberchondria severity scale (CSS-12). Results: A multiple regression analysis with forward selection found that the best fit model of cyberchondria selected two predictors: health anxiety (β = .38, p < .001) and trait anxiety (β = .28, p = .004), explaining 25% of the variance (p < .001). People who believe are at risk of complications from COVID-19 are 4.77 times more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for hypochondriasis than those who do not think that are at risk. Discussion and conclusion: High levels of health anxiety and trait anxiety is associated with cyberchondria and hypochondriasis, specifically in people at risk of complications from COVID-19, representing a threat to public health that must be intervened to moderate its social and economic impact.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Gianluis Ortega Germosén, Iris Bello-Castillo, Laura Sánchez-Vincitore