Internet use, eHealth literacy and fear of COVID-19 among nursing students in the Philippines

Abstract

The COVID-19 outbreak brought into focus not only the safety but also the mental well-being of nursing students. At present, the level of fear of COVID-19 and associated factors among nursing students in the Philippines are not well understood. This cross-sectional online survey determined the relationship between Internet use and eHealth literacy with fear of COVID-19. One thousand three hundred and sixty-seven (n=1,367) answered an online survey using the adopted eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS), and Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) administered from May 1 to 15, 2020. Descriptive statistics, tests for differences, and correlational analysis were performed. Results indicated that the composite score of the FCV19S was 3.65, indicating moderate to high levels of fear. Fear of COVID-19 significantly differed based on sex, year level, and location. A significant inverse relationship was found between the average daily use of the Internet and fear of COVID-19. On the other hand, no significant association was noted between eHealth literacy and fear of COVID-19. The first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a far-reaching impact on nursing students' psychological well-being. This study highlights the value of the Internet and its use during the outbreak may not always lead to higher fear related to COVID-19. Nursing schools may need to create strategies to promote regulated and responsible Internet use, address students' mental health concerns, and develop interventions to respond proactively to mitigate or reduce fear among nursing students during the pandemic.

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Keywords

nursing education

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