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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
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Abstract

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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