Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Psychosomatic Complaints and Investigation of The Mediating Role of Intolerance to Uncertainty, Biological Rhythm Changes and Perceived COVID-19 Threat in this Relationship: A Web-Based Community Survey

1.

Necmettin Erbakan University, Meram Medical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry, Konya, Turkey

2.

Nigde Omer Halisdemir University, Faculty of Arts and Science, Department of Psychology, Nigde, Turkey

3.

Necmettin Erbakan University, Meram Medical Faculty, Department of Public Health, Konya, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020; 30: 89-96
DOI: 10.5455PCP20200514033022
Read: 1061 Downloads: 392 Published: 19 January 2021

Background: The aim of the present study was to determine the increase in psychosomatic complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify the factors associated with psychosomatic complaints.

Methods: Five-hundred and thirty-three participants were included in the study. The participants completed the following self-reported scales: Personal Information Form, Perceived COVID-19 Threat Form, Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry and Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15). The data were gathered online. The participants filled PHQ-15 scale twice. In the one interrogation, they were asked to fill the scale according to the current time, and in the other interrogation, they were asked to retrospectively report their status before the COVID-19 outbreak started.

Results: The psychosomatic symptom levels of the participants increased (M = 9.08, SD = 5.98) after the COVID-19 outbreak compared to before. The first and second PHQ scores were both positively related to perceived COVID-19 threat, intolerance of uncertainty and biological rhythms. However, the correlation coefficients of the second PHQ scores (after the outbreak) were higher than the first. Perceived COVID-19 threat predicted intolerance of uncertainty, but did not predict biological rhythms. The relationship between perceived COVID-19 threat and the present PHQ score was partially mediated by intolerance of uncertainty. Also, the relationship between perceived COVID-19 threat and present PHQ score were partially mediated by both intolerance of uncertainty and biological rhythms.

Conclusion: Psychosomatic complaints were increased during the COVID-19 outbreak period, and the changes in perceived threat and biological rhythm, especially intolerance of uncertainty, were effective in this increase. Results of our study revealed the importance of including the patient’s ability to tolerate uncertainty in therapeutic approaches during COVID-19 and similar pandemics. In addition, the importance of the attempt to protect the circadian rhythm in the quarantine process has been demonstrated once again in order to reduce mental influences of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To cite this article: Gica S, Kavakli M, Durduran Y, Ak M. The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Psychosomatic Complaints and Investigation of The Mediating Role of Intolerance to Uncertainty, Biological Rhythm Changes and Perceived COVID-19 Threat in this Relationship: A Web-Based Community Survey. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020;30(2):89-96

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