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Cross-cultural investigation of COVID-19 related acute stress: A network analysis


Tsur, Noga; Bachem, Rahel; Zhou, Xiao; Levin, Yafit; Abu-Raiya, Hisham; Maercker, Andreas (2021). Cross-cultural investigation of COVID-19 related acute stress: A network analysis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 143:309-316.

Abstract

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has confronted humanity with an ongoing biopsychosocial stressor, imposing multifaceted challenges to individuals and societies. Particularly, the pandemic reflects an ongoing, potentially life-threatening danger to self and others, which may instigate acute stress symptoms (ASS). This study utilized a network framework to assess cross-national ASS a short time following the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Three samples of adult participants from China, Israel, and Switzerland completed a self-report assessment of acute stress symptoms. Network analyses were utilized to uncover the phenotype and dynamics of different ASS in these three countries. The ASS network analyses revealed extensive connections in all networks and reflected the structure of ASS. The centrality indexes in all networks were from the hyperarousal cluster. "Feeling jumpy" was the node with the highest strength centrality in the Israeli sample and "physiological reactivity" was the item with the highest centrality in the Swiss sample. In the Chinese sample, the item with the highest centrality was "feeling alert to danger." The findings reveal that despite some variations, the overall clinical picture of ASS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is universal. These findings highlight the centrality of hyperarousal symptoms, presumably reflecting its significance for clinical interventions.

Abstract

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has confronted humanity with an ongoing biopsychosocial stressor, imposing multifaceted challenges to individuals and societies. Particularly, the pandemic reflects an ongoing, potentially life-threatening danger to self and others, which may instigate acute stress symptoms (ASS). This study utilized a network framework to assess cross-national ASS a short time following the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Three samples of adult participants from China, Israel, and Switzerland completed a self-report assessment of acute stress symptoms. Network analyses were utilized to uncover the phenotype and dynamics of different ASS in these three countries. The ASS network analyses revealed extensive connections in all networks and reflected the structure of ASS. The centrality indexes in all networks were from the hyperarousal cluster. "Feeling jumpy" was the node with the highest strength centrality in the Israeli sample and "physiological reactivity" was the item with the highest centrality in the Swiss sample. In the Chinese sample, the item with the highest centrality was "feeling alert to danger." The findings reveal that despite some variations, the overall clinical picture of ASS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is universal. These findings highlight the centrality of hyperarousal symptoms, presumably reflecting its significance for clinical interventions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:November 2021
Deposited On:01 Nov 2021 14:01
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:46
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.09.019
PubMed ID:34530342
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Publisher License