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Table 1 Characteristics of the 18 included studies

From: Instruments to measure fear of COVID-19: a diagnostic systematic review

Study Instrument Setting, target group, and participant description Language Test accuracy or validity methodsa
Ahorsu et al. [25] FCV-19S (Fear of COVID-19 Scale) – development paper Iran
N = 717 general population
Mean age: 31.25 years (SD 12.68),
Female: 42.0%
COVID-19 characteristics: NR
Socioeconomic: 8.9 years of education (SD 4.1)
Iranian, with English translation provided Convergent validity (HADS Anxiety, HADS Depression, PVDS).
Internal consistency reliability.
Alyami et al. [38] FCV-19S Saudi Arabia
N = 639 general population
Mean age: 34.75 years (SD 11.80)
Female: 42.1%
COVID-19 characteristics: NR
Socioeconomic: 70% university qualification; 50.2% employed, 15.6% unemployed, 27.4% student
Arabic Convergent validity (HADS total score, HADS Anxiety, HADS Depression).
Internal consistency reliability.
Arpaci et al. [39] COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S) – development paper Turkey
Study 1: N = 1250 general population
Mean age: 37.53 years (SD = 16.94)
Female: 61.2%
COVID-19 characteristics: 0.4% positive
Socioeconomic: 1.8% high, 21.3% middle-high, 57.5% middle, 14.6% low.
Study 2: N = 2143 general population
Mean age: 39.66 years (SD 16.87)
Female: 60–3%
COVID-19 characteristics: 0.5% positive
Socioeconomic: 1.5% high, 20.2% middle-high, 60.1% middle, 12.7% middle-low, 12.7% low
Turkish, with English translation provided Reference test: COVID-19 infection vs not.
Internal consistency reliability.
Bitan et al. [40] FCV-19S Israel
N = 649
Mean age: NR
Female: 84.8%
COVID-19 characteristics: 52.9% unemployed during lockdown, 58.3% main career during COVID-19, 18.0% in risk group for COVID-19 mortality and 77.0% not in risk group, 4.1% direct contact with COVID-19 patient, 0.6% COVID-19 death in family
Socioeconomic: 33.2% above average, 45.6% below average, 21.1% average
Hebrew Convergent validity (DASS-21), internal consistency reliability.
Chang et al. [41] FCV-19S Taiwan
N = 400 adults receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment for psychiatric disorder
Mean age: 46.91 years (SD 10.92)
Female: 44.5%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: Mean education years 11.31 (SD 2.98)
Chinese Internal consistency reliability.
Feng et al. [42] Scale of COVID-19 related psychological distress in healthy public (CORPD) – development paper China
N = 652 uninfected healthy people
Mean age: NR
Female: 67.3%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 82.8% had college degree or above, 56.4% had a monthly income of more than 4000 yuan
Chinese Convergent validity (SCL-90), internal consistency reliability:
Haktanir et al. [43] FCV-19S Turkey
N = 668 general population
Mean age: NR
Female: 72.0%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 31.4% high, 61.4% middle, 7% low 
Turkish Convergent validity (BRS), internal consistency reliability.
Huarcaya-Victoria et al. [44] FCV-19S Peru
N = 832 general population
Mean age: 38.37 years (SD 12.75)
Female: 65.6%
COVID-19 status: 68.4% without any symptoms of COVID-19, 21.0% with one symptom, 6.5% with two symptoms, 3.5% with three symptoms, 0.6% with four or more symptoms
Socioeconomic: 76.4% with university education, 66.9% with formal employment
Spanish Convergent validity (GAD-7, PHQ-9, IES-R), internal consistency reliability:
Mejia et al. [45] Fear Perception and Magnitude of the Issue (MED-COVID-19) – development paper Peru
N = about 400 public employees
Mean age: NR
Female: NR
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: NR
Spanish, Portuguese Internal consistency reliability
Nguyen et al. [35] FCV-19S Vietnam
N = 5423 university students
Mean age: 22.0 years (SD 2.0)
Female: 52.0%
COVID-19 status: 18.9% with suspected symptoms, 81.0% without suspected symptoms
Socioeconomic: 53.9% with very or fairly easy ability to pay for medication, 46.0% very or fairly difficult ablity to pay
Vietnamese Reference test: AUC to distinguish GAD ≥8. Internal consistency reliability:
Pang et al. [46] FCV-19S Malaysia
N = 228 university students
Mean age: NR
Female: 71.1%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 1.8% doctoral degree, 5.7% master degree, 56.1% bachelor degree, 26.8% diploma, 9.6% high school
Malay Convergent validity (DASS-21), internal consistency reliability.
Perz et al. [47] FCV-19S United States
N = 237 university students
Mean age: 30.3 years (SD 10.2)
Female: 73.0%
COVID-19 status: 29% know someone with COVID-19 symptoms
Socioeconomic: 73% negative financial impact by COVID-19 or response
English Convergent validity (GAD-7), internal consistency validity
Reznik et al. [48] FCV-19S Belarus and Russia
N = 850 university students/ graduates
Mean age: 34.8 (SD 13.0)
Female: 73.2%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 65.4% university graduate, 28.4% university student, 6.2% primary or secondary school education
Russian internal consistency reliability
Sakib et al. [49] FCV-19S Bangladesh
N = 8550 general population
Mean age: 26.5 years (SD 9.1)
Female: 44.0%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 82.0% educated at tertiary level, 59.6% student, 3.7% unemployed
Bangal Convergent validity (PHQ-9), internal consistency reliability
Satici et al. [50] FCV-19S Turkey
N = 1304 general population
Mean age: NR
Female: 70.3%
COVID-19 status: 1.7% symptoms, 12.9% partial symptoms, 85.4% no symptoms
Socioeconomic: 10.0% graduate degree, 79.8% bachelor degree, 3.8% associate degree, 5.0% high school, 1.4 less than high school
Turkish Convergent validity (DASS-21, SWLS), internal consistency reliability
Soraci et al. [51] FCV-19S Italy
N = 249 general population
Mean age: 34.50 years (SD 12.21)
Female: 92%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 58.7% university-level degree, 39% high school degree, 2.4% lower-level educational degree
Italian Convergent validity (HADS, SMSP-A), internal consistency reliability
Tsipropoulou et al. [52] FCV-19S Greece
N = 2970 general population
Mean age: NR
Female: 72.5%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: 45.4% university degree, 29.8% high school degree, 1.5% less than high school. 8.9% health care provider.
Greek Convergent validity (PHQ-9, GAD-7), internal consistency reliability
Zolotov et al. [36] FCV-19S Israel
N = 370 university students
Mean age: 25.2 (SD 3.1)
Female: 78.1%
COVID-19 status: NR
Socioeconomic: NR
Hebrew Reference test: convergent validity to single items regarding COVID-19-related depression, anxiety, nervousness, loneliness, and exhaustion. Internal consistency reliability:
  1. NR Not reported. Other instruments: HADS Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, SMSP-A Severity Measure for Specific Phobia— Adult, PHQ-9:, DASS.21:, GAD-7 Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, BRS Brief Resilience Scale, SCL-90 Symptom Checklist-90, PVDS Perceived Vulnerability to Disease Scale
  2. aConvergent validity is displayed in forest plots in Figs. 2, 3, 4 and 5. Other validity assessments are in Additional file 1