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Comparison of attitudes toward the coronavirus disease vaccine, fear of coronavirus disease, and perception regarding causes of coronavirus disease between patients with serious mental illness and healthy controls



In this study, we compared attitudes toward vaccination and fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) between patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and a control group.

Subject and methods

This study performed at a community mental health center included 136 patients with SMI and 105 healthy controls. A sociodemographic data form, the Clinical Global Impression Scale, COVID-19 Phobia Scale, Perception of Causes of COVID-19 Scale, and Attitudes Toward the COVID-19 Vaccine Scale were administered.


Both groups showed similar vaccination rates, attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine, and fear of COVID-19. We observed an intergroup difference in the belief subdimension of the Perception of Causes of COVID-19 Scale; however, the other subscale scores were similar. Patients’ perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 was lower than that of the control group. In contrast to this finding, the rates of infection were higher in patients.


Considering the limited number of studies that have investigated the attitudes of patients with SMI toward vaccination, we observed that in contrast to the findings of previous studies, vaccination rates were similar between the SMI and control groups during the pandemic in Turkey. However, we observed an intergroup difference in factors that affected unwillingness to get vaccinated during the early period despite eligibility and availability of the vaccine. We conclude that interventions required for individuals with SMI differ from those required for healthy individuals.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author.


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The authors thank all the participants who participated in the study. We would like to thank Editage [] for editing and reviewing this manuscript for English language. We also would like to thank Mehmet Sata for his valuable help with regard to statistical analysis of this manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Ayse Gokcen Gundogmus, Selma Ercan Dogu and Gamze Zengin Ispir. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Ayse Gokcen Gundogmus, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ayse Gokcen Gundogmus.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

An ethical approval letter from the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the University of Health Sciences, Ankara Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital with reference no (129/02, Date: 24.01.2022) was obtained. Before data collection, all participants gave their written informed consent. The confidentiality of the study participants’ related data was maintained by avoiding using possible identifiers.

Ethics approval

The study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Health Sciences University Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital (Date: 24.01.2022 — Number: 129/02).


All participants provided written informed consent before participating in the study.

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Gundogmus, A.G., Ercan Dogu, S. & Zengin Ispir, G. Comparison of attitudes toward the coronavirus disease vaccine, fear of coronavirus disease, and perception regarding causes of coronavirus disease between patients with serious mental illness and healthy controls. J Public Health (Berl.) (2023).

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