An assessment of anxiety towards COVID-19 among Nigerian general population using the Fear of COVID-19 scale
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy management, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Enugu State. Nigeria
Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Benin, University of Benin. Benin-city. Edo State. Nigeria
Department of Pharmaceutical microbiology and biotechnology, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Enugu State. Nigeria
Submission date: 2020-08-29
Final revision date: 2020-10-24
Acceptance date: 2020-11-01
Online publication date: 2021-04-02
Publication date: 2021-04-02
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy management, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Enugu State. Nigeria
Arch Psych Psych 2021;23(1):36-43
Aim of the study:
The study sought to assess the fear of COVID-19 among the general population and suggested ways to reduce anxiety levels.

Subject or material and methods:
A web-based cross-sectional survey was designed using Google forms to collect data. Participants were recruited using a convenience snowballing technique. The questionnaire contained 3 sections on Socio-demographic data, the Fear of COVID-9 scale, and an open-ended question on suggested ways to mitigate anxiety towards COVID-19. For the open-ended question, scores were grouped based on the similarity of thematic content. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0.

A total of 1011 respondents completed the survey. The Mean Sum Fear of Corona was 18.28±5.909 out of a possible maximum score of 35. More than half (53.6%, n = 542) of the respondents had ‘Low fear’ of COVID-19. There was an increasing fear of COVID-19 with increasing educational qualification, however, this was not statistically significant. Respondents with health-related occupations had less anxiety towards COVID-19 compared to people in non-health related occupations (17.83±5.85 Vs. 18.54±5.91).

When respondents were asked to suggest ways anxiety towards COVID-19 could be reduced, one-third of them (34%, n =344) responded that public enlightenment programs with accurate information on the virus should be embarked on.

Overall, there was a low fear of COVID-19 among the general Nigerian population surveyed in this study. Public enlightenment and limited consumption of news on COVID-19 were the most suggested ways to abate fear of the virus.

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