Background: The emergence of COVID-19 and its pandemic nature have increased fears and anxieties that have led to stigmatization worldwide. This fear and anxiety are directly related to the rate of transmission of the disease, its invisible presence in the environment, its spread, morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to develop a data collection tool (a scale) which will evaluate perceived risk and anxiety of people living in Turkey regarding COVID-19, to propose a research model to describe the relationship between perception of risk and anxiety, and to form hypotheses.
Methods: The number of participants from each province of Turkey was determined by considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the provinces and their populations. The study was conducted between April 2020 with the participation of 661 individuals through a link created on the internet.
Results:The fit of the proposed model and the test of hypotheses were performed by using structural equation modelling. As a result of the study, it was determined that one unit increase in perceived health risk related to COVID-19 would lead to a 0.47 unit increase in anxiety, and one unit increase in perceived economic risk and inability to socialize would cause an increase of 0.18 and 0.15 units in anxiety, respectively.
Conclusions: As a result of the study, it was determined that the variable that most affects people's anxiety is perceived health risk. COVID-19 scale can be used as a valid and reliable scale. It should be applied in larger and different sample groups.
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