Anxiety Related to Health among Medical Doctors in Aceh during COVID-19 Outbreak

Fatmawati Fatmawati

Abstract


During pandemic of COVID-19, the incidence of anxiety is high among medical
doctors, especially the anxiety related to health. Therefore, this study aimed to
investigate the health anxiety among doctors. The study was conducted in Aceh
Province and there were 308 doctors who participated. The snowball sampling was
used in order to gain the participants. The health anxiety was carried out through
The Short Health Anxiety Inventory (Abramowitz, Deacon, & Valentiner, 2007)
which consist of 3 dimensions, including Illness Likelihood, Illness Severity, and Body
Vigilance. ‘‘Illness Likelihood’’ assesses the perceived likelihood of acquiring a
serious illness and intrusive thoughts about health, “Illness Severity” assesses the
anticipated burden or awfulness of having a serious illness, and “Body Vigilance”
assesses attention to bodily sensations or changes. The results found that most of
the medical doctors experienced high level of health anxiety. The incidence of
severe anxiety, moderate anxiety, and mild anxiety were 56.17% (173/308), 37.66%
(116/308), and 6.17% (19/308), respectively. There is no difference of health anxiety
in female (M=55.06; SD=9.34) and male doctors (M=54.57; SD=10.68) with Z-score=0.433,
(p=0.665).
Based
on
each
dimension,
as
much
as
99.35%
(306/308)
had
high

score

in Illness Likelihood, 60.39% (186/308) had high score in Illness Severity, and
95.79% (295/308) had high score in Body Vigilance. From three dimensions assessed
by SHAI, Illness Likelihood is the highest health anxiety perceived by doctors. It is
suggested that medical institutions should strengthen the training of psychological
skills for medical doctors in order to maintain their mental health, as they are the
front-line professional who directly deal with patients during this COVID-19
outbreak.

Keywords: Health Anxiety, Medical Doctor, COVID-19


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30659/psisula.v3i0.18788

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