Analysis of perceived stress caused by covid-19 and its hazards management through emotion regulation and religious orientation

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor and Member of Human Sciences Faculty, Kosar University of Bojnord

2 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning Group, Kosar University of Bojnord

3 Specialized doctorate in counseling



The corona virus was identified in December 2019 and spread rapidly in more than 200 countries around the world, leading to increasing fear and anxiety among the people of the world. Many researches have shown a wide range of psychological and social effects on people at the individual, community and international level during the outbreak of a disease. Medical staff are vulnerable to infection due to close contact with covid-19 patients and can spread the virus among colleagues and family members. There is consensus that the COVID-19 pandemic affects not only physical health but also mental health and well-being. Previous reviews have reported that health care workers who provide frontline care during viral epidemics are at high risk for developing mental health problems. Because the current epidemic is a relatively new type of stressful or traumatic factor from the point of view of psychopathology. The psychological effects of stress experienced by physicians during the COVID-19 outbreak may have serious consequences for their overall health. Therefore, it is valuable to examine the level of perceived stress in health care workers during the current outbreak. Workers who provide front-line health care during outbreaks are at increased risk for stress-related problems, both in the short and long term.
Materials and Methods
The current research is a quantitative descriptive-correlation study of the regression type, which is included in the category of descriptive designs. The statistical population of the research was all the employees involved with the patients of Covid 19 of Imam Hassan Hospital of Bojnord in the year 1400 in the number of 280 people who were selected as a sample using the census method of the entire research community and after applying the exit criteria, 221 people remained with Exit criteria. Then the research questionnaires were distributed among the subjects and they were asked to complete the relevant questionnaires. After collecting the questionnaires, the questionnaires that were incompletely answered or had no answers at all were discarded and finally 221 questionnaires were analyzed. All the employees of Hospital and working in different shifts of the said hospital were considered as criteria for entering the research. Data analysis was done using Pearson's correlation test and step-by-step multiple regression analysis in SPSS26 software.
Perceived Stress Questionnaire: This questionnaire has 14 questions prepared by Cohen et al. in 1993 and measures the amount of stress that a person has experienced during the last month in his life, and on a scale of 5 options, never until Very high (0-4) is scored.
Emotion Regulation Questionnaire: This questionnaire was prepared by Gross and John (2003) in order to measure emotion regulation strategies. The above scale consists of 10 items, which have two subscales of reappraisal (6 items) and suppression (4 items). Answers are based on a seven-point Likert scale, from completely disagree (1) to completely agree (7).
 Religious Orientation Questionnaire: This questionnaire has 20 items and measures external (11 items) and internal (9 items) religious orientation. Fegin in 1963 used a 21-item version of construction and all the options of Allport's questionnaire in it, and in addition to that, he added another option, which had a high correlation (0.61) with external orientation, so This questionnaire was used.
Research findings and discussion
The analysis of the data collected in the field of demographic information showed that the average age of the employees was 22/67 years and the standard deviation of their age was 6.53 years, and the employees involved with Covid-19 were between 18 and 61 years old. 160 subjects (%72.4) were single and 61 subjects (%27.6) were married. The non-significance of the Z statistic for the research variables shows that the curve of the distribution of scores of these variables is of a normal type and the assumption of normality of the distribution of scores has been met. Also, the probability of F value for checking the linearity of the factor did not exceed 0.05, so it can be concluded that there is a linear relationship between the predictor variables and the criterion variable. Among the predictor variables, the correlation between internal religious orientation and perceived stress was -0.351 and the correlation of reappraisal with perceived stress was -0.293 and both of these coefficients are significant (p < 0.01). The negative direction of these correlations shows that the higher the level of internal religious orientation in people and their use of re-evaluation emotion regulation, the lower the level of perceived stress in them. On the other hand, the positive and significant correlation between suppressive emotion regulation and perceived stress shows that the more people use this component of emotion regulation, it leads to an increase in their perceived stress. Also, based on the obtained results, it can be seen that there is no significant relationship between external religious orientation and perceived stress (p < 0.05). In addition, the three variables of internal religious orientation, reappraisal and repression together could predict 23.7% of perceived stress, which was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Reappraisal, internal religious orientation and repression have the greatest contribution in predicting perceived stress.
The present study was conducted with the aim of predicting the perceived stress of employees dealing with covid-19 based on emotional regulation and religious orientation, and the results showed that the re-evaluation component of emotional regulation and internal religious orientation both have the ability to predict perceived stress. have a negative meaning, which means that the increase of these components in the employees of the Covid-19 department leads to a decrease in their perceived stress. Also, the results indicated that the suppression component of emotion regulation has the ability to positively predict perceived stress, which means that an increase in this component leads to an increase in perceived stress. In general, it can be said that what causes people's perception of difficult life and work situations and their vulnerability in these situations is the type of emotional regulation strategies and their religious orientation. On the other hand, people's religious orientation can influence how people perceive and deal with situations and increase people's resilience in difficult situations, and then help their mental and physical health. For this reason, according to the findings of this research, it is necessary to pay more attention to these factors in the design of psychological interventions in the treatment staff. Therefore, one of the proposals of this research is the use of interventions that cause adaptive regulation of emotion in people. At the same time, spirituality-oriented interventions should also be taken into consideration.


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