The Coronavirus Anxiety Project

Purpose

We are a research team that is studying how fear and anxiety about the coronavirus are affecting mental health and well-being of people around the globe. As of July 8, 2020, we have three self-report measures of COVID-19 anxiety that have solid reliability and validity support. These instruments are now registered as research tools by the NIH Public Health Emergency and Disaster Research Response (DR2) Program and part of the World Psychiatry Association’s COVID-19 Mental Health Care Toolkit. In addition, these instruments have been part of major reviews in the Journal of Psychopathology and Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, and used in large scale studies such as COVID-19 IDD: A global survey. Our research has been featured to over 17,000 scientists on Research Gate’s COVID-19 community research page , is a part of the Cambridge University coronavirus collection and recognized on the Evidence Exchange Network in Canada. Recently, our research has been cited in a report by the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) to support the mental health of students in Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS; Lee, 2020) assesses physiologically-based, dysfunctional anxiety symptoms associated with the coronavirus. The CAS is currently being translated into many different languages and is being used by over 50 teams of health professionals and researchers from around the world. The Obsession with COVID-19 Scale (OCS; Lee, 2020) assesses persistent and disturbed thinking about COVID-19, while the Coronavirus Reassurance-Seeking Behaviors Scale (CRBS; Lee, Jobe, Mathis, & Gibbons, 2020) measures reassurance-seeking behaviors associated with concerns over coronavirus infection. Our hope is that health professionals and scholars will use these tools to identify people at risk for or suffering from clinically significant anxiety related to the coronavirus. We also hope that other researchers will join us in studying the ‘coronaphobia’ phenomenon.

Our Research

Ahmed, O., Faisal, R. A., Sharker, T., Lee, S. A., & Jobe, M. C. (2020). Adaptation of the Bangla version of the COVID-19 Anxiety Scale. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00357-2

Andrade, E. F., Pereira, L. J., Orlando, D. R., Peixoto, M. F. D., Lee, S. A., & Castelo, P. M. (2021): Validation of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Obsession with COVID-19 Scale (BP-OCS) using a large university sample in Brazil. Death Studies. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07481187.2021.1879319?src=

Ashraf, F., Lee, S. A., & Crunk, A. E. (2020). Factorial validity of the Urdu version of the Obsession with COVID-19 Scale: Preliminary investigation using a university sample in Pakistan. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1779436

Choi, E., Lee, J., & Lee, S. A. (2020). Validation of the Korean version of the Obsession with COVID-19 scale and the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1833383

Lee, S. A. (2020). Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: A brief mental health screener for COVID-19 related anxiety. Death Studies, 44(7), 393-401. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1748481

Lee, S. A. (2020). How much “Thinking” about COVID-19 is clinically dysfunctional? Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.067

Lee, S. A. (2020). How you can measure your coronaphobia: Interview with Dr. Sherman Lee on his new Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. In J. Aten, K. Annan, & J. Meeker (Eds.), Covid-19 mental health handbook: Evidence-informed approaches to mental wellbeing during a pandemic (pp. 33-34). Humanitarian Disaster Institute. https://www.spiritualfirstaidhub.com/covid19mentalhealthmanual

Lee, S. A. (2020). Measuring coronaphobia: The psychological basis of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Dusunen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences. https://dx.doi.org/10.14744/DAJPNS.2020.00069

Lee, S. A. (2020). Replication analysis of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Dusunen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences. https://dx.doi.org/10.14744/DAJPNS.2020.00079

Lee, S. A., & Crunk. A. E. (2020). Fear and psychopathology during the COVID-19 crisis: Neuroticism, hypochondriasis, reassurance-seeking, and coronaphobia as fear factors. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820949350

Lee, S. A., Jobe, M. C., & Mathis, A. A. (2020). Mental health characteristics associated with dysfunctional coronavirus anxiety. Psychological Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003329172000121X

Lee, S. A., Jobe, M. C., Mathis, A. A., & Gibbons, J. A. (2020). Incremental validity of coronaphobia: Coronavirus anxiety explains depression, generalized anxiety, and death anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102268

Lee, S. A., Mathis, A. A., Jobe, M. C., & Pappalardo, E. A. (2020). Clinically significant fear and anxiety of COVID-19: A psychometric examination of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Psychiatry Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113112

Milman, E., Lee, S. A., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2020). Social isolation and the mitigation of coronavirus anxiety: The mediating role of meaning. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1775362

Milman, E., Lee, S. A., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2020). Social isolation as a means of reducing dysfunctional coronavirus anxiety and increasing psychoneuroimmunity. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.007

Milman, E., Lee, S. A., Neimeyer, R. A., Mathis, A. A., & Jobe, M. C. (2020). Modelling pandemic depression and anxiety: The mediational role of core beliefs and meaning making. Journal of Affective Disorders Report. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadr.2020.100023

Mora-Magana, I., Lee, S. A., Maldonado-Castellanos, I., Jimenez-Gutierrez, C., Mendez-Venegas, J., Maya-Del-Moral, A., Rosas-Muniveg, M. D., Mathis, A. A., & Jobe, M. C. (2020). Coronaphobia among healthcare professionals in Mexico: A psychometric analysis. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1808762

Padovan-Neto, F. E., Lee, S. A., Guimaraes, R. P., Godoy, L. D., Costa, H. B., Zerbini, F. L. S., & Fukusima, S. S. (2021). Brazilian Adaptation of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: A Psychometric Investigation of a Measure of Coronaphobia. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0030222821991325

Research around the Globe

Ahn, H. H., Lee, J., Suh, S., Lee, S., Kim, H. J., Shin, Y., & Chung, S. (2020). Application of the Stress and Anxiety to Viral Epidemics-6 (SAVE-6) and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) to measure anxiety in cancer patient in response to COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.604441

Akkuzu, H., Yumuşak, F.N., Karaman, G., Ladikli, N., Türkkan Z., & Bahadır, E. (2020). The reliability and validity of Turkish version of Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Cyprus Turkish Journal of Psychiatry and Psychology, 2(2), 63-67. doi:10.35365/ctjpp.20.2.09

Arslan , G., Yıldırım, M., & Aytaç, M. (2020). Subjective vitality and loneliness explain how coronavirus anxiety increases rumination among college students Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1824204

Ashraf, F., Zareen, G., Nusrat, A., Arif, A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2021). Correlates of psychological distress among Pakistani adults during the COVID-19 outbreak: Parallel and serial mediation analyses. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647821

Broche-Pérez, Y., Fernández-Castillo, E., Fernández-Fleites, Z., Jiménez-Puig, E., Vizcaíno-Escobar, A., Ferrer-Lozano, D., Martínez-Rodríguez, L., & Martín-González, R. (2020). Adaptation of the Cuban version of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1855610

Caycho-Rodríguez, T., Vilca, L. W., Carbajal-León, C., White, M., Vivanco-Vidal, A., Saroli-Araníbar, D., Peña-Calero, B. N., & Moreta-Herrera, R. (2021) Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: New psychometric evidence for the Spanish version based on CFA and IRT models in a Peruvian sample. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1865480

Caycho-Rodríguez, T., Vilca, L. W., Carbajal-León, C., Heredia-Mongrut, J., Gallegos, M., Portillo, N., Reyes-Bossio, M., & Barboza-Palomino, M. (2021). Obsession with Covid-19 in Peruvian police and armed forces: Validation of the obsession with Covid-19 Scale in Spanish using SEM and IRT models, Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2021.1900453

Evren, C., Evren, B., Dalbudak, E., Topcu, M., & Kutlu, N. (2020). Measuring anxiety related to COVID-19: A Turkish validation study of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1774969

El Sayed, S., Shokry, D., & Gomaa, S. (2020). Coronavirus Anxiety Scale: Content validity and reliability of Arabic version. Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, 81(4). 1775-1779. https://ejhm.journals.ekb.eg/article_120009.html

Faisal, R. A., Jobe, M. C., Ahmed, O., Sharker, T. (2020). Replication analysis of the COVID-19 Worry Scale. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1815104

Franco-Jimenez, R. (2020). Translation and psychometric analysis of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) in Peruvian youth and adults. Interactions , 6 (2), e159. https://doi.org/10.24016/2020.v6n2.159

Gaeta, L., & Brydges, C. R. (2020). Coronavirus-related anxiety, social isolation, and loneliness in older adults in northern California during the Stay-at-Home order, Journal of Aging & Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959420.2020.1824541

González-Rivera, J., Rosario-Rodríguez, A., & Cruz-Santos, A. (2020). Escala de Ansiedad por Coronavirus: Un Nuevo Instrumento para Medir Síntomas de Ansiedad Asociados al COVID-19. Interacciones, 6(3), e163. https://doi.org/10.24016/2020.v6n3.163

Hosgör, H. Dörttepe, Z. U., & Sagcan, H. (2020). The effect of COVID-19 anxiety on the professional performances of emergency medical health services staff and demographic differences. Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences Faculty. https://doi.org/10.30798/makuiibf.793641

Hussain, A., Sawant, S., Mishra, J., Ram, R., Pandey, M., Bista, S., & Sarraf, P. K. (2020). Psychological distress related to COVID-19 among Nepalese professionals: An online cross-sectional study. Med Phoenix, 5(1), 10-18. https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/medphoenix

Karaahmet, E., Angın, U., Yılmaz, O., Deniz, D., & Konuk, N. (2021). Assessment of psychometric characteristics of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale in patients with preexisting psychiatric disorders, Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2021.1876184

Labrague, L., & De los Santos, J. A. (2020). COVID-19 anxiety among frontline nurses: Predictive role of organizational support, personal resilience and social support. Journal of Nursing Management. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.13121

Magano, J., Vidal, D.G., Sousa, H. F. P. E., Dinis, M. A. P., & Leite, Â. (2021). Validation and psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) and Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) and associations with travel, tourism and hospitality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020427

Nikčevića, A. V., & Spada, M. M. (2020). The COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale: Development and psychometric properties. Psychiatry Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113322

Pressley, T. (2021). Factors contributing to teacher burnout during COVID-19. Educational Researcher. https://doi.org/10.3102%2F0013189X211004138

Ramos-Vera, C. A. (2021). La dinamica interna de la Coronavirus Anxiety Scale mediante analisis de red. Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatrıa. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rcp.2020.12.008

Ransing, R., et al. (2020). Can COVID-19 related mental health issues be measured?: Assessment options for mental health professionals. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159120309326?via%3Dihub

Salim, Z., Shaikh, A. H., Ramzan, Z., Bhatia, M. R., Tabassum, U., & Majeed, M. M. (2021). A comparative study to evaluate COVID-19 related anxiety and fear among medical doctors and dental surgeons. Ethiopian Medical Journal. https://www.emjema.org/index.php/EMJ/article/view/1658

Spitzenstätter, D., & Schnell, T. (2020) The existential dimension of the pandemic: Death attitudes, personal worldview, and coronavirus anxiety. Death Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1848944

Skalski, S., Uram, P., Dobrakowski, P., & Kwiatkowska, A. (2020) The link between ego-resiliency, social support, SARS-CoV-2 anxiety and trauma effects. Polish adaptation of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, e110540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110540

Skalski, S., Uram, P., Dobrakowski, P., & Kwiatkowska, A. (2020). Thinking too much about the novel coronavirus. The link between persistent thinking about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 anxiety and trauma effects. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 8(3), 169-174. https://doi.org/10.5114/cipp.2020.100094

Srivastava, A., Bala, R., Srivastava, A. K., Mishra, A., Shamin, R., & Sinha, P. (2020). Anxiety, obsession and fear from coronavirus in Indian population: a web-based study using COVID-19 specific scales. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health. https://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20204763

Talevi, D., Pacitti, F., Socci, V., Renzi, G., Alessandrini, M. C., Trebbi, E., & Rossi, R. (2020). The COVID-19 outbreak: Impact on mental health and intervention strategies. Journal of Psychopathology, 26, 162-168. doi: 10.36148/2284-0249-393

Turan, G. B., Köse, S., & Aksoy, M. (2021). Analysis of nursing students' obsessive and coping behaviors during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppc.12728

Yurttas, B., Poyraz, B. C., Sut, N., Ozdede, A., Oztas, M., Uğurlu, S., Tabak, F., Hamuryudan, V., & Seyahi, E. (2021). Willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine among patients with rheumatic diseases, healthcare workers and general population in Turkey: a web-based survey. Rheumatology International. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-021-04841-3

Zhang, Y., Ren, T., Li, H., Zhu, L., & Tang, Q. (2020). Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for anxiety disorder of coronavirus disease 2019. Medicine. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000022177

The CAP Research Team

Sherman A. Lee, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Christopher Newport University. He studies negative feeling states, such as anxiety and grief, and the role personality and religion play in those emotional experiences. He teaches courses in the psychology of personality, psychology of the human-animal bond (Anthrozoology), and the psychology of death, dying, and bereavement (Thanatology).

Mary C. Jobe, BS, is a recent graduate of Christopher Newport University. She will be attending the doctoral program in Applied Social Psychology at the George Washington University this Fall 2020. Her interests include developmental, quantitative, and social psychology.

Amanda A. Mathis, BS, is a recent graduate of Christopher Newport University. She will be attending the doctoral program in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Notre Dame this Fall 2020. Her interests include quantitative and cognitive psychology.

Emily A. Pappalardo is an undergraduate psychology and neuroscience major, with a minor in leadership studies at Christopher Newport University. She currently is an undergraduate research assistant, planning to graduate in Spring 2023. Her interests include developmental and cognitive psychology.

Jeffrey A. Gibbons, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Christopher Newport University. He studies the interrelation between memory, emotions, and attitudes. The research primarily examines the relation of rehearsal and mood measures (depression, anxiety, and stress) to the fading affect bias (tendency for unpleasant event affect to fade faster than pleasant event affect) across experimental events (alcohol, religion, death, social media, video games, relationships) and control events (e.g., non-alcohol) in autobiographical memory. This work has recently been extended to COVID-19 events. Finally, his research also examines the believability and recognition of news headlines.

Elizabeth Crunk, PhD, is an instructor and researcher at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she also maintains an active psychotherapy practice. Her research focuses on the role of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the bereavement processes of adult mourners, grief coping, and psychometrics and scale development.

Evgenia (Jane) Milman, PhD, teaches and conducts research at St Edward’s University. She is also a faculty member at the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition and adjunct faculty at the National Crime Victim’s Center. She studies the impact of meaning making on mental health following bereavement, trauma and other stressful events. Jane has published novel grief therapy techniques, assessment tools, and therapeutic protocols.

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, directs the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, and maintains an active consulting and coaching practice. Neimeyer has published over 500 journal articles and book chapters as well as 30 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy, and serves as Editor of Death Studies. He is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank our family members, friends, and fellow scholars for sharing their ideas and supporting our project. We also would like to thank Dr. Alice Veksler, Dr. Michelle Lange, and the rest of CNU's IRB for reviewing our research. We thank Mr. Jim Hanchett, CNU's Chief Communications Officer, for his media and communication support. We also thank Mr. Will White, CNU's Academic Technology Service Manager for his technical support of this webpage. Further thanks goes to Dr. Tim Marshall and Ms. Alinka Pollock for their active support of the members of this project. And we wish to extend a special thanks to all of the participants of our research with whom we have been privileged to learn from and taught us much about the psychology of pandemics.


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