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      Psychological Predictors of Health Anxiety in Response to the Zika Virus

      research-article
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      Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
      Springer US
      Health anxiety, Contamination, Zika

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          Abstract

          The threat of a United States (U.S.) Zika virus pandemic during 2015–2016 was associated with public anxiety. Such threats represent opportunities to examine hypotheses about health anxiety. The present study investigated psychological predictors of Zika-related anxiety during the 2015–2016 outbreak. U.S. adults ( N = 216) completed a battery of measures assessing Zika-related anxiety as well as psychological variables hypothesized to predict anxious responding to the threat of a domestic Zika outbreak. Contrary to hypotheses, regression analyses indicated that only contamination severity overestimates and greater Zika knowledge significantly predicted Zika-related anxiety. Study limitations and clinical implications are discussed.

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          Most cited references34

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          The Health Anxiety Inventory: development and validation of scales for the measurement of health anxiety and hypochondriasis.

          A self-rated measure of health anxiety should be sensitive across the full range of intensity (from mild concern to frank hypochondriasis) and should differentiate people suffering from health anxiety from those who have actual physical illness but who are not excessively concerned about their health. It should also encompass the full range of clinical symptoms characteristic of clinical hypochondriasis. The development and validation of such a scale is described. Three studies were conducted. First, the questionnaire was validated by comparing the responses of patients suffering from hypochondriasis with those suffering from hypochondriasis and panic disorder, panic disorder, social phobia and non-patient controls. Secondly, a state version of the questionnaire was administered to patients undergoing cognitive-behavioural treatment or wait-list in order to examine the measure's sensitivity to change. In the third study, a shortened version was developed and validated in similar types of sample, and in a range of samples of people seeking medical help for physical illness. The scale was found to be reliable and to have a high internal consistency. Hypochondriacal patients scored significantly higher than anxiety disorder patients, including both social phobic patients and panic disorder patients as well as normal controls. In the second study, a 'state' version of the scale was found to be sensitive to treatment effects, and to correlate very highly with a clinician rating based on an interview of present clinical state. A development and refinement of the scale (intended to reflect more fully the range of symptoms of and reactions to hypochondriasis) was found to be reliable and valid. A very short (14 item) version of the scale was found to have comparable properties to the full length scale. The HAI is a reliable and valid measure of health anxiety. It is likely to be useful as a brief screening instrument, as there is a short form which correlates highly with the longer version.
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            Robust dimensions of anxiety sensitivity: development and initial validation of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3.

            Accumulating evidence suggests that anxiety sensitivity (fear of arousal-related sensations) plays an important role in many clinical conditions, particularly anxiety disorders. Research has increasingly focused on how the basic dimensions of anxiety sensitivity are related to various forms of psychopathology. Such work has been hampered because the original measure--the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI)--was not designed to be multidimensional. Subsequently developed multidimensional measures have unstable factor structures or measure only a subset of the most widely replicated factors. Therefore, the authors developed, via factor analysis of responses from U.S. and Canadian nonclinical participants (n=2,361), an 18-item measure, the ASI-3, which assesses the 3 factors best replicated in previous research: Physical, Cognitive, and Social Concerns. Factorial validity of the ASI-3 was supported by confirmatory factor analyses of 6 replication samples, including nonclinical samples from the United States and Canada, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain (n=4,494) and a clinical sample from the United States and Canada (n=390). The ASI-3 displayed generally good performance on other indices of reliability and validity, along with evidence of improved psychometric properties over the original ASI. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved
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              Psychological Predictors of Anxiety in Response to the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Pandemic

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                919-843-8170 , sblakey@unc.edu
                Journal
                J Clin Psychol Med Settings
                J Clin Psychol Med Settings
                Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
                Springer US (New York )
                1068-9583
                1573-3572
                23 October 2017
                2017
                : 24
                : 3
                : 270-278
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000000122483208, GRID grid.10698.36, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, , The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ; CB # 3270, Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA
                Article
                9514
                10.1007/s10880-017-9514-y
                7088051
                29063232
                eb541db2-bc21-4956-b8dc-3f077a14ba8f
                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                health anxiety,contamination,zika
                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                health anxiety, contamination, zika

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