International survey for assessing COVID-19's impact on fear and health: study protocol.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMJ open, 2021, 11, (5), pp. e048720
Issue Date:
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COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2, has been one of the most highly contagious and rapidly spreading virus outbreak. The pandemic not only has catastrophic impacts on physical health and economy around the world, but also the psychological well-being of individuals, communities and society. The psychological and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic internationally have not been well described. There is a lack of international study assessing health-related impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the degree to which individuals are fearful of the pandemic. Therefore, this study aims to (1) assess the health-related impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in community-dwelling individuals around the world; (2) determine the extent various communities are fearful of COVID-19 and (3) identify perceived needs of the population to prepare for potential future pandemics.

Methods and analysis

This global study involves 30 countries. For each country, we target at least 500 subjects aged 18 years or above. The questionnaires will be available online and in local languages. The questionnaires include assessment of the health impacts of COVID-19, perceived importance of future preparation for the pandemic, fear, lifestyles, sociodemographics, COVID-19-related knowledge, e-health literacy, out-of-control scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire-4. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe participants' characteristics, perceptions on the health-related impacts of COVID-19, fear, anxiety and depression, lifestyles, COVID-19 knowledge, e-health literacy and other measures. Univariable and multivariable regression models will be used to assess the associations of covariates on the outcomes.

Ethics and dissemination

The study has been reviewed and approved by the local ethics committees in participating countries, where local ethics approval is needed. The results will be actively disseminated. This study aims to map an international perspective and comparison for future preparation in a pandemic.
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