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Approach to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy based on some psychological symptoms and attachment theory: A web-based community survey
1Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Konya, Turkiye
2Ataturk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Education, Erzurum, Turkiye
Dusunen Adam Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2023; 36(1): 41-49 DOI: 10.14744/DAJPNS.2022.00205
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Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, obsession, hostility, and attachment styles, which may be associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
Method: A total of 504 adult participants were included in the study. The sociodemographic data form, including questions on information about participants’ COVID-19 infection history and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, was filled out by the participants. The participants were evaluated with the anxiety, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), hostility, and paranoid ideation subscales of the Symptom Checklist – Revised 90 scale and the Adults Attachment Style Scale (AASS). The participants were divided into three groups: “vaccinated group (VG),” “nonvaccinated but intend to get vaccinated group (IGV),” and “nonvaccinated group and not intend to get vaccinated group (NIGV).”
Results: The mean score of the AASS secure subscale was higher (p=0.009), while the SCL-90 anxiety subscale was lower (p=0.003) in the NIGV group. The mean score of the SCL-90 OCD subscale in the NIGV group was lower than that in the IGV group (p=0.040). Regression analysis showed that concerns about the safety of vaccines (OR: 140, p<0.001) and having secure attachment style (OR: 1.787, p=0.019) increase the intention to not be vaccinated. However, it was found that high anxiety scores decreased the intention not to be vaccinated (OR: 0.966, p=0.035).
Conclusion: The findings of the current study indicate that secure attachment style and clinical psychiatric entities such as anxiety and obsession were effective on vaccine hesitancy. However, this interaction needs to be interpreted carefully in the context of the perceived level of COVID-19 threat, more detailed information about the safety and necessity of vaccines, the relationship of individuals with their social environment, and the predominance of vaccine hesitancy in their social environment.