Cyberchondria as Digital Psychopathology: Covid 19 Pandemic Example

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Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, vol.0, pp.185-202, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


The COVID-19 pandem�c has affected the behav�or of �nd�v�duals on a global scale. Th�s study emp�r�cally analyzed the relat�onsh�p between the stress and anx�ety of the COVID-19 pandem�c, hyg�ene and protect�on measures of young �nd�v�duals, onl�ne med�cal �nformat�on search and cyberchondr�a, and onl�ne med�cal support and ass�stance. Cross-sect�onal data obta�ned from 662 onl�ne surveys conducted w�th Atatürk Un�vers�ty Commun�cat�on Faculty students �n 2021 were analyzed by Structural Equat�on Model�ng. Study f�nd�ngs; The COVID-19 Pandem�c revealed a pos�t�ve and sol�d relat�onsh�p (γ = 0.70; t = 14.26) between Anx�ety and Stress and Personal Hyg�ene and Protect�on Measures. Furthermore, a pos�t�ve and robust relat�onsh�p was found between COVID-19 Pandem�c Anx�ety and Stress and Onl�ne Med�cal Informat�on Search�ng on the Internet (γ = 0.42; t = 9.64), and �t was also determ�ned that there was a strong pos�t�ve relat�onsh�p between Onl�ne Med�cal Informat�on Search on the Internet and Cyberchondr�a (γ = 0.72; t = 15.07). F�nally, a pos�t�ve and robust relat�onsh�p was found between Med�cal Support and Expert Ass�stance and COVID-19 Pandem�c Anx�ety and Stress (γ = 0.45; t = 9.24). The f�nd�ngs show that young �nd�v�duals �ntens�vely use onl�ne med�cal �nformat�on searches dur�ng the COVID-19 pandem�c. Th�s s�tuat�on shows that th�s global ep�dem�c has �ncreased the behav�or of cyberchondr�a and d�rected young �nd�v�duals to seek med�cal support and personal protect�on measures. In add�t�on, �t �s seen that people w�th h�gh anx�ety levels develop cyberchondr�a behav�ors to protect themselves from the v�rus