The present study is a descriptive type of research. No sample selection was made in the study, and snowball sampling was used while online survey links were sent to people who agreed to participate in the study.
Criteria for inclusion in the study
White-collar private-sector workers who continued to work actively during the COVID-19 pandemic, and individuals who participated in voluntary aid groups such as “Vefa Support Group” and “Turkish Red Crescent” if not in gainful employment, thus facing the risk of direct contact with other people, were included in the study.
The study’s sample group consisted of 735 people and included healthcare workers (n = 426) and service sector employees (n = 309). The participants from the healthcare sector included nurses, midwives, physicians, technicians, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, health officers, medical secretaries/officers/patient admission employees, and others (managers, hospital cleaning staff, etc.).
The participants from the service sector were categorized into four groups according to their working styles: (1) Office-workplace workers (workers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, etc.); (2) workers providing home services (cargo employees, water delivery staff, bread delivery staff, etc.); (3) community volunteer workers (Vefa Support Group volunteers and Turkish Red Crescent volunteers); and (4) workers providing services for the community at their workplaces (general store staff, green grocers, butchers, grocers, checkers, cleaners, and stand attendants at bakeries and general stores, etc.)
In this study, sociodemographic characteristics, employment in the healthcare or service sector, having a relative with COVID-19, losing any relative due to COVID-19 and taking measures were taken as independent variables. The dependent variable was the score from the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S).
Data collection tools
Within the scope of the project, the questionnaire included the questions on sociodemographic characteristics of the participants (personal information form), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21), Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S), Positive and Negative Mood Questions. In this article, findings regarding personal information form and Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) questions are presented.
Personal Information Form: The form, created by researchers, includes sociodemographic information, characteristics related to COVID-19, and behavior of compliance with COVID-19 measures.
Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S): The Turkish validity study of the FCV-19S, developed by Ahorsu et al. (2020), was conducted by Satici et al. (2020). In the scale with one dimension and seven items, there was no reversely scored item. The total score from all items of the scale reflects the level of fear of COVID-19 that an individual experiences. The scores that can be taken from the scale range from 7 to 35. The higher scores from the scale mean higher levels of the fear of COVID-19. The Cronbach's alpha value of the scale was found to be 0.894 in this study.
The process of data collection in the study began on 05.15.2020, employed the online survey created using Google Forms, and was terminated on 06.01.2020, that is, when the first attempt of normalization in Turkey began.
The data obtained from the study was evaluated by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software program (version 22.0). Number and percentage distributions were presented as descriptive statistics. The Mann–Whitney U Test, the Kruskal–Wallis Test, and the chi-squared test were used in the evaluation of nonparametric variables. In addition, multiple regression analysis was performed to assess the correlation of the fear of COVID-19. In addition, multiple regression analysis was performed to assess the correlation of the fear of COVID-19 with age, gender, having a relative with COVID-19, and losing any relative due to COVID-19. Reference categories were determined as being aged between 18 and 24 years, being male, not losing relatives, and not having any relative with COVID-19. The analysis of the service sector (F = 3.812, p < 0.05) and the healthcare sector (F = 4.219, p < 0.001) was carried out separately, and the explanatory power of the model was found to be 52% for the service sector and 43% for the healthcare sector.