Comerford D, Olivarius O, Bell D & Douglas E (2022) Validation of the Worries Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic (WECP) Scale.
Background and Objectives: Covid-19 has caused substantial disruption to how we live, work and socialise and has evoked concerns and worries regarding many aspects of life. As the UK was easing Covid-19 restrictions in the period March – May 2021, we devised and validated a Worries Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic scale (the WECP scale).
Research Design and Methods: We devised 100 items that factor analyses over two rounds of data collection on UK residents reduced to a 14-item scale. The resultant WECP scale captures the following dimensions: worries about the future course of the virus; worries about readjusting to society; feelings of isolation; worries about the continuation or reintroduction of restrictions; worries for family and friends; financial worries and worries regarding the safety and efficacy of Covid vaccines.
Results: Scores on our WECP scale are independently predicted by three scales from the peer-reviewed literature: one that captures fear concerning the disease itself, one that captures broader worries around the pandemic and one that measures resilience. WECP scores are lower among older respondents (age 70+) than among younger respondents (age 40-49) and this is largely explained by financial worries and worries regarding the efficacy and risks of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Discussion: The WECP scale provides a uniquely insightful measure of the worries experienced by the older UK population as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. It can help identify which groups have been left feeling vulnerable by the pandemic and on which dimensions those groups would profit from support.
Covid-19; fear; worries; resilience; pandemic; scale validation