Covid-19 anxiety: a longitudinal survey study of psychological and situational risks among finnish workers

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Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 crisis has changed the conditions of many all over the globe. One negative consequence of the ongoing pandemic is anxiety brought about by uncertainty and the COVID-19 disease. Increased anxiety is a potential risk factor for wellbeing at work. This study investigated psychological, situational, and socio-demographic predictors of COVID-19 anxiety using longitudinal data. Methods: A nationally representative sample of Finnish workers (N = 1308) was collected before and during the COVID-19 crisis. Eighty percent of the participants responded to the follow-up study (N = 1044). COVID-19 anxiety was measured with a modified Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory. Psychological and situational predictors included perceived loneliness, psychological distress, technostress, personality, social support received from the work community, and remote working. A number of socio-demographic factors were also investigated. Results: Perceived loneliness, psychological distress, technostress, and neuroticism were identified as robust psychological predictors of COVID-19 anxiety. Increase in psychological distress and technostress during the COVID-19 crisis predicted higher COVID-19 anxiety. A recent change in their field of work and decreased social support from work communities predicted COVID-19 anxiety. Women and young people experienced higher anxiety. Conclusions: Different factors explain workers’ COVID-19 anxiety. Increased anxiety can disrupt wellbeing at work, emphasizing the organizations’ role in maintaining an inclusive and caring work culture and providing technical and psychological support to workers during crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number794
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Loneliness
  • Mental health
  • Personality
  • Stress
  • Work

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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