Fear of COVID 19 and the relation to resilience, meaning in life and subjective well being - Comparison between American and Israeli health care workers

Main Article Content

Amy J. Armstrong Carolyn E. Hawley Ya Su Anat Marmor Sigal Sviri Isabella Schwartz Shimon Siri Zeev Meiner


While COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on most of the world's population, it has especially affected health care workers (HCWs) who are on the front lines fighting the virus. How HCWs cope with the pandemic have recently been explored. Differences across cultural and health care system settings related to fear of COVID 19 and measures of wellbeing may provide further insight to the coping mechanisms and experiences of HCWs during this worldwide pandemic. The overall subjective well-being and meaning in life scores are noticeably higher for the American participants whereas the fear of COVID and resilience scores are close in both studies, with slightly higher resilience and lower fear in the Israeli HCWs. Age, ethnicity and lower resilience were found to be significantly associated with higher fear of COVID-19 in both cohorts. In the Israeli participants, education level and life satisfaction were also associated with lower fear of COVID19 whereas in the American cohort, gender and relationship were also associated. These results suggest that albeit the cultural differences, similar mechanisms namely age and resilience, are important in coping with fear of the COVID-19 pandemic among both cohorts of HCWs. Therefore, it is important to enhance resilience in order to reduce the psychological burden of the pandemic among HCWs. This study was conducted prior to the availability of a vaccine.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Fear of COVID-19, Health Care Workers, Resilience, Meaning in life, Satisfaction with Life

Article Details

How to Cite
ARMSTRONG, Amy J. et al. Fear of COVID 19 and the relation to resilience, meaning in life and subjective well being - Comparison between American and Israeli health care workers. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 6, june 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2812>. Date accessed: 17 apr. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v10i6.2812.
Research Articles


1. Milligan GW, Cooper MC. An examination of procedures for determining the number of clusters in a data set. Psychometrika. 1985;50(2):159-179. doi:10.1007/bf02294245
2. Tan BYQ, Chew NWS, Lee GKH, et al. Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Care Workers in Singapore [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 6]. Ann Intern Med. 2020;M20-1083. doi:10.7326/M20-1083
3. Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. Posttraumatic growth: conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological inquiry, 2004;15:1-18.‏
4. Frankl, V. E. (2011). Man's search for ultimate meaning. Random House.‏
5. Halama, P., & Bakosova, K. Meaning in life as a moderator of the relationship between perceived stress and coping. Studia psychologica. 2009; 51(2/3): 143.‏
6. Shiri S, Wexler I, Marmor A, et al. Hospice Care: Hope and Meaning in Life Mediate Subjective Well-Being of Staff [published online ahead of print, 2020 Feb 13]. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2020;1049909120905261.
7. Shiri, S., Wexler, I. D., Alkalay, Y., Meiner, Z., & Kreitler, S. Positive psychological impact of treating victims of politically motivated violence among hospital-based health care providers. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics. 2008; 77(5): 315-318.‏
8. Hawley, C. E., Armstrong, A. J., Shiri, S., Czarnota, J., Blumenfeld, S., Schwartz, I., & Meiner, Z. Post-traumatic growth following politically motivated acts of violence: 10 years post injury. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling. 2017; 23(1): 1-18.‏
9. Shiri S, Blumenfeld S, Marmor A, Meiner Z. Stress-related growth and resilience among caregivers of alzheimer’s patients receiving cholinomimetic treatment. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2017; 13 (7): 1208.
10. Ahorsu DK, Lin C-Y, Imani V, Saffari M, Griffiths MD, Pakpour AH. The fear of covid-19 scale: Development and initial validation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 2020. doi:10.1007/s11469-020-00270-8
11. Connor KM, Davidson JRT. Development of a new resilience scale: The connor-davidson resilience scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety. 2003;18(2):76-82. doi:10.1002/da.10113
12. Diener E, Emmons RA, Larsen RJ, Griffin S. The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment. 1985;49(1):71-75. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13
13. Steger MF, Frazier P, Oishi S, Kaler M. The meaning in life questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 2006;53(1):80-93. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.53.1.80
14. Ward JH. Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function. Journal of the American Statistical Association. 1963;58(301):236-244. doi:10.1080/01621459.1963.10500845
15. Stojanov J, Malobabic M, Stanojevic G, Stevic M, Milosevic V, Stojanov A. Quality of sleep and health-related quality of life among health care professionals treating patients with coronavirus disease-19. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2020;67(2):175-181. doi:10.1177/0020764020942800
16. Alhujaili N, Alghamdi A, Abo Talib T, Alhaqbani M, Alfelali M, Alghamdi W. The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Obsession and Compulsion Symptoms in Saudi Arabia. Cureus. 2021;13(11):e20021. Published 2021 Nov 29. doi:10.7759/cureus.20021
17. Sharif S, Amin F, Hafiz M, et al. A Year of Pandemic-Comparison of Depression Among Neurosurgeons After the Advent of the COVID-19 Vaccine. World Neurosurg. 2022;159:e466-e478. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2021.12.076
18. Itzhaky L, Gelkopf M, Levin Y, Stein JY, Solomon Z. Psychiatric reactions to continuous traumatic stress: A latent profile analysis of two Israeli samples. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2017;51:94-100. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2017.06.006
19. Shechory Bitton, M., and Laufer, A. (2017). PTSD and PTG among Israeli mothers: opposite facets of exposure to terrorism. Stress Health 33, 676–683. doi: 10.1002/smi.2754
20. Kumar J, Katto MS, Siddiqui AA, et al. Predictive Factors Associated With Fear Faced by Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Questionnaire-Based Study. Cureus. 2020;12(8):e9741. Published 2020 Aug 14. doi:10.7759/cureus.9741
21. Mayer Y, Etgar S, Shiffman N, Lurie I. The fear of covid-19 familial infection scale: Initial psychometric examination. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling Development. 2020:1-33. doi:10.31234/osf.io/edwta
22. Stojanov J, Malobabic M, Stanojevic G, Stevic M, Milosevic V, Stojanov A. Quality of sleep and health-related quality of life among health care professionals treating patients with coronavirus disease-19. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2021;67(2):175-181. doi:10.1177/0020764020942800
23. Bozdağ F, Ergün N. Psychological resilience of healthcare professionals during COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological Reports. 2020;124(6):2567-2586. doi:10.1177/0033294120965477
24. Perry BL, Harp KL, Oser CB. Racial and gender discrimination in the stress process: Implications for african american women's health and well-being. Sociological Perspectives. 2013;56(1):25-48. doi:10.1525/sop.2012.56.1.25
25. Huffman EM, Athanasiadis DI, Anton NE, et al. How resilient is your team? Exploring healthcare providers' well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Am J Surg. 2021;221(2):277-284. doi:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.09.005
26. Wong CL, Young B, Lui BS, Leung AW, So JL. Professional quality of life and resilience in emergency department healthcare professionals during COVID-19 in Hong Kong: A cross-sectional study. Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2021:102490792110491. doi:10.1177/10249079211049128
27. Nguyen LH, Drew DA, Graham MS, et al. Risk of COVID-19 among front-line health-care workers and the general community: a prospective cohort study. The Lancet Public Health. 2020;5(9). doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30164-X
28. Connor J, Madhavan S, Mokashi M, et al. Health risks and outcomes that disproportionately affect women during the COVID-19 pandemic: A Review. Social Science & Medicine. 2020;266:113364. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113364
29. Niño M, Harris C, Drawve G, Fitzpatrick KM. Race and ethnicity, gender, and age on perceived threats and fear of covid-19: Evidence from two national data sources. SSM - Population Health. 2021;13:100717. doi:10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100717
30. Artiga S, Damico A, Orgera K, Hill L. Health coverage by race and ethnicity, 2010-2019. KFF. https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/health-coverage-by-race-and-ethnicity/. Published July 16, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2022.
31. Farley JH, Hines J, Lee NK, et al. Promoting health equity in the era of COVID-19. Gynecol Oncol. 2020;158(1):25-31. doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.05.023
32. Wu AW, Connors C, Everly GS, Jr. COVID-19: peer support and crisis communication strategies to promote institutional resilience. Ann Intern Med 2020. doi:10.7326/M20-1236