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

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy management, 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
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.