Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 MD-MPH Program, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

4 Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Research Institute for Health, School of Public Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

5 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health School, and Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


CONTEXT: At time of epidemics, fear and rumors in the community are the main obstacles to the
success of prevention programs.
AIMS: The aim of the study was to investigate the fear and rumors of coronavirus disease
2019 (COVID‑19) among the Iranian population.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This nationwide cross‑sectional study was conducted on residents of six
cities of Iran via street‑based multistage sampling in March 2020.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The eligible participants completed a self‑administered questionnaire
about rumor and fear related to COVID‑19 epidemy.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Data were analyzed through linear regression and survey analysis
using Stata (version 11).
RESULTS: A total of 2249 (49.3% women) were included. The main source of information was Iranian
broadcasting (68.5%). The overall mean (standard deviation) score of fear and rumor among the
Iranian population was 15.68 (0.46) and 39.24 (1.27), respectively. Educational level was associated
with fear of COVID‑19 (P = 0.001). Trusting to the rumors was affected by age (<0.0001), education
level (P < 0.0001), underlying disease (P = 0.017), and workplace situation (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The fear and rumor surrounding the epidemic of COVID‑19 were common in
society that could make an epidemic of COVID‑19 difficult to control. Increasing public awareness
via reliable mass media is recommended.


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