Fear of COVID-19 infection, as a mediator between exposure to news and mental health, in the Peruvian population

Henry Santa-Cruz-Espinoza, Gina Chavez-Ventura, Julio Dominguez-Vergara, Elizabeth Dany Araujo Robles, Haydee Mercedes Aguilar-Armas, Velia Graciela Vera Calmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: In this COVID-19 pandemic, protective measures against the disease and government-imposed policies should be known. However, the media also report on deaths and health service shortages, but their impact on the mental health of the population is ignored. Objective: To determine whether fear of COVID-19 infection acts as a mediator between exposure to news about the pandemic and mental health in the Peruvian population. Method: Explanatory study with observable variables in which 541 persons selected by non-probabilistic sampling participated. They responded to a sociodemographic file and the following scales: Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5) and Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Data were processed using IBM SPSS Statistics 25 and Macro PROCESS for SPSS programs; linear regression and bootstrapping of 10 000 simulations were used. Results: The number of hours watching and/or listening to covid-19 information is a good predictor of the COVID-19 fear mediator variable (β=, 75; t = 3.77, p<.001**). In turn, this has a predictor effect on mental health (β= -,24; t = -13.57, p<.001**). However, the number of hours of exposure to COVID-19 information had no direct positive effect on mental health (β= -.10; t = -1.184, p=.23). Conclusion: Fear of COVID-19 has a total mediating effect between exposure to pandemic news and mental health in the Peruvian population.

Translated title of the contributionEl miedo al contagio de covid-19, como mediador entre la exposición a las noticias y la salud mental, en población peruana
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalEnfermeria Global
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

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