The central aim of our study was to widen the mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing and evaluating a measure that could be used to identify the presence of anxiety syndrome features associated with COVID-19. In Study 1, a community sample of 292 participants completed the newly developed COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale (C-19ASS) and results were subjected to a Principal Components Analysis. An 11-item two-factor structure was identified. In Study 2, a community sample of 426 participants completed a battery of questionnaires including the C-19ASS.
A Confirmatory Factor Analysis was performed on the C-19ASS. A 9-item two-factor structure was confirmed. Results also indicated that the C-19ASS has acceptable levels of reliability and concurrent validity. The C-19ASS perseveration factor was found to explain an additional 9.3% variance in COVID-19 anxiety, and additional 2.2% variance in work and social adjustment (functional impairment), over and above all other variables. The C-19ASS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of the COVID-19 anxiety syndrome. The implications of these findings are discussed.