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The Relationship between Self-Efficacy, Self-Care Behavior, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in COVID-19: A Path Analysis Model

Mohammad Hossien Delshad orcid scopus  -  Department of Public Health, School of Health, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Fahimeh Pourhaji  -  PhD candidate, Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Islamic Republic of
*Fatemeh Pourhaji orcid  -  Department of Public Health, School of Health, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Hassan Azhdari Zarmehri  -  Neuroscience Research Center, Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Open Access Copyright (c) 2022 Nurse Media Journal of Nursing
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Background: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has a strong impact on individuals and becomes a very stressful period. Long-term exposure to stress due to lockdown scenario may also increase psychological distress by reducing support resources, and in these circumstances, personal resources such as self-efficacy and its relationships appear important. It is important to explore people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of behavior in the face of COVID-19, which is not known in the target population, and also to show its effect on anxiety.

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy, self-care behavior, and generalized anxiety disorder in COVID-19.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was performed after COVID-19 was confirmed in Iran. The samples of the study were 500 residents in the Razavi Khorasan province, Iran, that were randomly selected. Demographic data, general self-efficacy, self-care behavior, and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) questionnaires were used for data collection. The data were analyzed using bivariate correlation and hierarchical linear regression models.

Results: The mean(SD) age of the participants was 31.9(11.9). Their GAD-7 scores had severe anxiety (score ≥17). There was a negative and significant relationship between generalized anxiety disorder and self-efficacy (r=-0.238, p≤0.01). Also, there was a positive and significant relationship between self-efficacy and self-care behavior. No significant relationship between generalized anxiety disorder and self-care behavior was found. The path analysis model estimated anxiety and self-efficacy as about 4% of the variance self-care behavior in COVID-19.

Conclusion: This study revealed that enhancing self-efficacy levels might reduce anxiety. Self-efficacy-enhancing programs should be used as part of the routine readiness effort drives and health care system change.
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Keywords: Anxiety disorder; corona disease; self-care behavior; self-efficacy

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