Validation of the fear of the COVID-19 scale in Nigeria: Implications for public health practice

T. Chia, O. I. Oyeniran, S. K. Iorfa

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    Abstract

    Objective: The fear of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected a wide range of health-related attitudes and behaviours worldwide. However, within an African population, it is not clear how the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic may be particularly important for formulating public health policies and their consequent implementation. As a first step, it is important to validate a psychometrically sound instrument to assess the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic using an African population. This study presents a preliminary validation of the fear of the COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) using a sub-Saharan African population from Nigeria.

    Methods: Three hundred and eighty-nine people responded from a total of 1000 invitees. The participants were requested to fill a web-based (Google forms) FCV-19S questionnaire. The responses, together with their socio-demographic data, were analysed using descriptive statistics and a confirmatory factor analysis.

    Results: The age of the participants ranged between 21 and 30 years (mean 25.84 years). The study participants comprised 220 males (56.6%) and 169 females (43.4%). The factor loadings of all seven items of the FCV-19S questionnaire reached statistical significance and, therefore, were retained. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the two-factor structure of the FCV-19S questionnaire was a better fit for the Nigerian subpopulation under consideration. Cronbach's alphas for both subscales were acceptable.

    Conclusions: The FCV-19S is a valid, suitable, and effective tool for the African population. Additionally, the implications of its use for public health practice in Africa are essential.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)929-934
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Taibah University Medical Sciences
    Volume16
    Issue number6
    Early online date17 Nov 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

    Keywords

    • Africa
    • COVID-19
    • Fear
    • Nigeria
    • Public health
    • Validation

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