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Cyberchondria in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cyberchondria in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Author(s): Nataša Jokić-Begić (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Branka Bagarić (Croatian Association for Behavioral-Cognitive Therapies, Croatia)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 22
Source title: Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Hacer Aker (Selcuk University, Turkey) and Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8630-3.ch010

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Abstract

The appearance of a new and unknown disease, COVID-19, provides a fertile ground for the rise of cyberchondria, an excessive online searching about coronavirus transmission, COVID-19 symptoms, and its long-term health-related effects, which is followed by more anxiety. The purpose of this chapter is to review and discuss new findings on cyberchondria in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This chapter presents research findings on aspects of the pandemic which may give rise to cyberchondria, potential risk factors for cyberchondria during the pandemic, the role of cyberchondria in the development of pathological anxiety in the pandemic period with an emphasis on health anxiety and OCD, and possible impacts of seasonality of the pandemic on cyberchondria. Finally, this chapter discusses possible treatment options for cyberchondria in the time of the pandemic.

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