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Psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: the joint contribution of intolerance of uncertainty and cyberchondria.
Psychol Health. 2022 Nov; 37(11):1396-1413.PH

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To explore the direct and indirect associations between intolerance of uncertainty, health anxiety (HA), and psychological distress through problematic internet use (PIU) and cyberchondria, both before and during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DESIGN

Two Italian samples were enrolled via an online questionnaire. Sample 1 (N = 556; 69.3% females, Mage 29.6 years, SD = 13.2) was recruited in non-pandemic times, whereas Sample 2 (N = 575; 74% females, Mage 31.9 years, SD = 13.4) was recruited during the COVID-19 lockdown.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Self-report measures assessing HA and psychological distress.

RESULTS

Two distinct path analyses showed that intolerance of uncertainty was directly associated with HA and psychological distress in both samples. Moreover, cyberchondria partially mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and HA and PIU partially mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and psychological distress in both samples. The link between cyberchondria and psychological distress was significant in Sample 2 but non-significant in Sample 1. The model accounted for a substantial variance of HA and psychological distress in both samples.

CONCLUSION

Our findings suggest that problematic online behaviors might exacerbate the negative consequences of intolerance of uncertainty in terms of higher levels of HA and psychological distress both in pandemic and non-pandemic contexts.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.Department of Developmental and Socialization Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy. Division of Psychology, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, UK.Department of Developmental and Socialization Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.Division of Psychology, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

34279150

Citation

Bottesi, Gioia, et al. "Psychological Distress in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Joint Contribution of Intolerance of Uncertainty and Cyberchondria." Psychology & Health, vol. 37, no. 11, 2022, pp. 1396-1413.
Bottesi G, Marino C, Vieno A, et al. Psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: the joint contribution of intolerance of uncertainty and cyberchondria. Psychol Health. 2022;37(11):1396-1413.
Bottesi, G., Marino, C., Vieno, A., Ghisi, M., & Spada, M. M. (2022). Psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: the joint contribution of intolerance of uncertainty and cyberchondria. Psychology & Health, 37(11), 1396-1413. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2021.1952584
Bottesi G, et al. Psychological Distress in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Joint Contribution of Intolerance of Uncertainty and Cyberchondria. Psychol Health. 2022;37(11):1396-1413. PubMed PMID: 34279150.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: the joint contribution of intolerance of uncertainty and cyberchondria. AU - Bottesi,Gioia, AU - Marino,Claudia, AU - Vieno,Alessio, AU - Ghisi,Marta, AU - Spada,Marcantonio M, Y1 - 2021/07/19/ PY - 2021/7/20/pubmed PY - 2021/7/20/medline PY - 2021/7/19/entrez KW - cyberchondria KW - health anxiety KW - intolerance of uncertainty KW - problematic internet use KW - psychological distress SP - 1396 EP - 1413 JF - Psychology & health JO - Psychol Health VL - 37 IS - 11 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To explore the direct and indirect associations between intolerance of uncertainty, health anxiety (HA), and psychological distress through problematic internet use (PIU) and cyberchondria, both before and during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Two Italian samples were enrolled via an online questionnaire. Sample 1 (N = 556; 69.3% females, Mage 29.6 years, SD = 13.2) was recruited in non-pandemic times, whereas Sample 2 (N = 575; 74% females, Mage 31.9 years, SD = 13.4) was recruited during the COVID-19 lockdown. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-report measures assessing HA and psychological distress. RESULTS: Two distinct path analyses showed that intolerance of uncertainty was directly associated with HA and psychological distress in both samples. Moreover, cyberchondria partially mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and HA and PIU partially mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and psychological distress in both samples. The link between cyberchondria and psychological distress was significant in Sample 2 but non-significant in Sample 1. The model accounted for a substantial variance of HA and psychological distress in both samples. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that problematic online behaviors might exacerbate the negative consequences of intolerance of uncertainty in terms of higher levels of HA and psychological distress both in pandemic and non-pandemic contexts. SN - 1476-8321 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/34279150/Psychological_distress_in_the_context_of_the_COVID_19_pandemic:_the_joint_contribution_of_intolerance_of_uncertainty_and_cyberchondria_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -