A Network Analysis of the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S): A Large-Scale Cross-Cultural Study in Iran, Bangladesh, and Norway

Oscar Lecuona, Chung Ying Lin, Dmitri Rozgonjuk, Tone M. Norekvål, Marjolein M. Iversen, Mohammed A. Mamun, Mark D. Griffiths, Ting I. Lin, Amir H. Pakpour

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to high levels of fear worldwide. Given that fear is an important factor in causing psychological distress and facilitating preventive behaviors, assessing the fear of COVID-19 is important. The seven-item Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) is a widely used psychometric instrument to assess this fear. However, the factor structure of the FCV-19S remains unclear according to the current evidence. Therefore, the present study used a network analysis to provide further empirical evidence for the factor structure of FCV-19S. A total of 24,429 participants from Iran (n = 10,843), Bangladesh (n = 9906), and Norway (n = 3680) completed the FCV-19S in their local language. A network analysis (via regularized partial correlation networks) was applied to investigate the seven FCV-19S items. Moreover, relationships between the FCV-19S items were compared across gender (males vs. females), age groups (18–30 years, 31–50 years, and >50 years), and countries (Iran, Bangladesh, and Norway). A two-factor structure pattern was observed (three items concerning physical factors, including clammy hands, insomnia, and heart palpitations; four items concerning psychosocial factors, including being afraid, uncomfortable, afraid of dying, and anxious about COVID-19 news). Moreover, this pattern was found to be the same among men and women, across age groups and countries. The network analysis used in the present study verified the two-factor structure for the FCV-19S. Future studies may consider using the two-factor structure of FCV-19S to assess the fear of COVID-19 during the COVID-19 era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6824
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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