lancet-header

Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com.

Relationship between Perception and Anxiety About COVID-19 Infection and Risk Behaviors for Spreading Infection: Preliminary Report of a National Survey in Japan

16 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Akihiro Shiina

Akihiro Shiina

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health

Tomihisa Niitsu

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Osamu Kobori

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychology

Keita Idemoto

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Tasuku Hashimoto

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychiatry

Tsuyoshi Sasaki

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Yoshito Igarashi

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health

Eiji Shimizu

Chiba University - Department of Cognitive Behavioural Physiology

Michiko Nakazato

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychiatry

Kenji Hashimoto

Chiba University - Division of Clinical Neuroscience

Masaomi Iyo

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health

More...

Abstract

Background: The novel corona virus infection (COVID-19) has immediately become a pandemic. Identifying characteristics of possible “super spreaders,” who are assumed to be a dominant cause of rapid transmission, will help in designing proper prevention strategies.

Methods: We conducted a nation-wide online survey to investigate the relationship of understanding and anxiety levels about COVID-19 to possible risk behaviors for spreading the virus in Japan. In total, 4,000 citizens responded to our questionnaire during March 27 and 28, 2020. The questionnaire included several questions covering the level of fear and anxiety about COVID-19, infection preventive behaviors, access to media, level of trust in information about the virus, as well as participants’ demographic characteristics.

Findings: In total, 13·7% of participants reported that they have a very low understanding of COVID-19. This study defined those participants as “indifferent individuals.” In addition, 10·6% and 12·2% of them indicated that they have no anxiety of being infected and transmission to others, respectively. We also found that 11·2% showed no worry about symptomatic aggravation, and 8·5% had no concern about spreading the infection. Indifferent individuals were less likely to access information sources than others, and do not trust the information they obtained about the virus. They were less anxious about their own health, and less likely to engage in precautionary behaviors (e.g., washing hands and avoiding crowded spaces) than other participants.

Interpretation: The present study suggests it is highly important to educate those who have no concerns about COVID-19, and help them to stop their risk behaviors in order to prevent and control this viral pandemic.

Funding Statement: This study was funded by a management grant provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology to Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine.

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflict of interests regarding this study.

Ethics Approval Statement: This study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine and the Ethics Committee of the International University of Health and Welfare before implementation. Participants were informed that their participation was voluntary.

Keywords: psychiatry; COVID-19; anxiety; indifference; super spreader

Suggested Citation

Shiina, Akihiro and Niitsu, Tomihisa and Kobori, Osamu and Idemoto, Keita and Hashimoto, Tasuku and Sasaki, Tsuyoshi and Igarashi, Yoshito and Shimizu, Eiji and Nakazato, Michiko and Hashimoto, Kenji and Iyo, Masaomi, Relationship between Perception and Anxiety About COVID-19 Infection and Risk Behaviors for Spreading Infection: Preliminary Report of a National Survey in Japan (4/21/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3582777 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3582777

Akihiro Shiina (Contact Author)

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health ( email )

260-8670 Inohana 1-8-1
Chiba
Japan
+81432227171 (Phone)

Tomihisa Niitsu

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Chiba
Japan

Osamu Kobori

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychology

Nasu-Shiobara City
Japan

Keita Idemoto

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Chiba
Japan

Tasuku Hashimoto

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychiatry

Nasu-Shiobara City
Japan

Tsuyoshi Sasaki

Chiba University - Department of Psychiatry

Chiba
Japan

Yoshito Igarashi

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health

Chiba
Japan

Eiji Shimizu

Chiba University - Department of Cognitive Behavioural Physiology

1-8-1 Inohana
Chuo-ku, Chiba City
Chiba, 260-8677
Japan

Michiko Nakazato

International University of Health and Welfare Hospital (IUHW) - Department of Psychiatry

Nasu-Shiobara City
Japan

Kenji Hashimoto

Chiba University - Division of Clinical Neuroscience ( email )

Chiba
Japan

Masaomi Iyo

Chiba University - Center for Forensic Mental Health

Chiba
Japan

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,341
Downloads
78
PlumX Metrics