Research Report

COVID-19 and You: Impact & Recovery Study

Alternative title A literature review to inform the development of a UK specific instrument to measure COVID-19 fear



Dawson A, Brown T, Pemble C & Douglas E (2022) COVID-19 and You: Impact & Recovery Study [A literature review to inform the development of a UK specific instrument to measure COVID-19 fear]. UKRI.

▪ Ten studies reported on nine unique instruments that have been developed and published in English language to measure fear of COVID-19, from the beginning of the pandemic to April 2021   ▪ Seven studies developed and validated unique new instruments for measuring COVID-19 fear, two of which used existing COVID-19 fear scales to validate the new instrument ▪ Instruments vary significantly in terms of length (items) and scope (factors) ▪ Study quality was mixed; more detailed reporting of the methods used in the development of the scale items would have improved transparency and therefore quality ▪ Instruments aimed to measure various psychological states potentially related to COVID-19, including anxiety, depression, stress, cognitions, phobias, personal risk of infection, and coping behaviours ▪ Measures of general and COVID-specific anxiety and depression are positively correlated with COVID19 fear ▪ COVID-19 fear may be moderated by certain sociodemographic factors such as age and gender, and pre-existing physical and psychological health conditions ▪ None of the studies proposed a threshold for subclinical/clinical fear of COVID-19 in a general population sample ▪ The majority of identified studies developed and validated unique instruments ▪ The instruments included in this rapid review focus on worries and fears related to the domain of health. ▪ By identifying and describing key characteristics of existing COVID-19 scales we help other researchers to decide which instrument might be the most suited to their needs in future studies of the effects of COVID-19 fear 

Ageing; Covid-19 Fear measure; survey

FundersUKRI UK Research and Innovation
Publication date10/10/2022
Publication date online10/10/2022
Publisher URL

People (3)


Dr Alison Dawson

Dr Alison Dawson

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences

Dr Elaine Douglas

Dr Elaine Douglas

Associate Professor, Dementia and Ageing

Dr Cate Pemble

Dr Cate Pemble

Research Fellow (Qualitative), Dementia and Ageing

Projects (1)