Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2020 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Nosophobia, hypochondriasis, and willingness of people to seek healthcare amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Calabar Metropolis of Cross River State, Nigeria.

Okoi NO, Etim JJ.

Abstract

Aim: This study investigated the prevalence of nosophobia, hypochondriasis, and willingness of people to seek healthcare amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Calabar Metropolis of Cross River State, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey design and questionnaire was used to collect data from 200 respondents randomly sampled. Data were sorted, cleaned, coded, and analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software, and hypotheses tested using Chi-square test, significant at 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.05). Results: One hundred and eighty two (91%) respondents presented with nosophobia and hypochondriasis, slightly more in women (92 [46%]) as compared to men (90 [45%]), and these had increased with age. Phobia was attributed more to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (48 [24%]), and human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) (40 [20%]) as compared to other diseases, that also, instilled fear and anxiety on respondents. One hundred and fifty seven (78.5%) displayed poor willingness to seek healthcare. Conclusions: Nosophobia and hypochondriasis were found to be associated with age and healthcare seeking behaviour. Gender and education did not play significant role. Fear varied according to the type of diseases. Therefore, public sensitisation is necessary.

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